Sprint on 5G
According to a RCRWireless report on April 7, 2017, “Sprint 5G moves are moving ahead with plans to integrate greater software control of network resources using NFV and SDN technologies.” Further, according to the same report, “Sprint announced plans to use high performance user equipment technology to extend coverage of its 2.5 GHz-based TDD-LTE network by up to 30%, or to nearly match the coverage characteristics of its LTE network using the 1.9 GHz spectrum band.”
Sprint noted during its fiscal 3Q16 earnings conference call that it plans to begin field testing MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) on its 2.5 GHz spectrum.
In the telecommunications world, 5G (fifth-generation) technology is generating a lot of hype. It could provide ten to 100 times faster wireless speeds than 4G (fourth-generation) technology. Sprint’s (S) management indicated that the carrier views its 2.5 GHz spectrum as low-band for 5G and expects to see 5G mobility deployments within the next five years.
AT&T could be another aggressive player in the 5G market
AT&T (T) also has been an aggressive player in the 5G market. Even in the past, it has tried to outbid its rivals in order to gain spectrum advantage. AT&T was the highest bidder during the AWS-3 spectrum auctions in early 2015 and purchased spectrum worth $18.2 billion.
The AWS-3 spectrum auction is the major auction conducted by the FCC after 2008. As seen in the graph above, Verizon (VZ) and T-Mobile (TMUS) also participated in that auction with winning bids of $10.4 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively.
AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner (TWX) will help AT&T to lower its capex investments. As a result, AT&T will have more resources to invest in 5G technology.