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How Sprint’s Network Performance Is Trending Now

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Jan. 31 2018, Updated 2:50 p.m. ET

Sprint’s network performance

A mobile carrier’s network performance plays a vital role in its customer retention. Sprint (S), the fourth-largest wireless service provider in the United States (SPY), is continuously improving its network through its deployment of thousands of small-cell solutions, including the Sprint Magic Box.

The telecom company’s strong postpaid phone customer net additions in fiscal 2Q17 (the quarter ended September 2017) are evidence that its network is becoming more competitive with its larger competitors. Third-party network experts continue to point to improvements in Sprint’s network quality.

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Based on Ookla’s Speedtest Intelligence data, Sprint’s national average download speeds have risen ~33% YoY (year-over-year), and Sprint’s network was the most improved network in 2017 for all mobile results between September 2016 and September 2017. The company expects to improve even more given its densification and optimization strategy.

Sprint’s densification and optimization tool kit includes technologies such as beamforming, multiple carrier aggregation, and high-performance user equipment (or HPUE), along with various small-cell solutions. Furthermore, the company expects to add capacity as well as coverage by expanding its 800 MHz and 2.5 GHz footprints through macro tower upgrades and new macro sites.

Sprint’s call performance

Based on RootMetrics’s 1H17 RootScore report, at the national level, Sprint earned scores of 88.6 and 91.1 for call performance and network reliability, respectively.

In terms of call performance, Sprint narrowly followed AT&T (T) and outperformed T-Mobile (TMUS). Sprint maintained a third-place ranking in the overall network performance segment. Meanwhile, Verizon (VZ) secured the top spot across all six network performance segments: data performance, network reliability, speed performance, call performance, overall performance, and text performance.

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