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Sprint Senior Vice President of Networks Bob Azzi.  (Source: Dipity.com)
Sprint in the midst of network modernization project

According to Fierce Wireless, Sprint will be closely monitoring the adoption rate of its high-speed WiMAX service, evaluating the best use of its spectrum, before deciding whether or not to focus on LTE in the future. 

Sprint is currently working in partnership with Alcatel-Lucent, Samsung, and Ericsson on a $4 to $5 billion network modernization plan called Network Vision, to be undertaken over the next three to five years.  

At Network Vision's core is a plan to deploy a multi-use base station for greater technology flexibility. "The new multi-mode base stations will be smaller allowing the entire footprint of the cell site to be reduced," Fierce Wireless reports, "which means that less power will be required at the cell site." 

The upgrade is largely a cost-saving measure. In addition to the base station, Sprint also plans on deploying CDMA 1x Advanced, which Sprint Senior Vice President of Networks Bob Azzi said will reduce per-minute costs and provide an estimated 20 to 40 percent improvement in capacity and performance. Backhaul will be upgraded from T1s to a combination of microwave and Ethernet fiber. 

Meanwhile, Verizon announced yesterday that it would launch its 4G LTE network across the wider Detroit market tomorrow, covering some 80 percent of the metropolitan area. 

The expansion to nearly 70 suburban municipalities is the first since Verizon launched its LTE service back in December. Though a few areas in and around Detroit were covered then, most of the area experienced spectrum interference with a Canadian TV station. This issue has been resolved, thus allowing the significant early expansion.

"Metro Detroit: Welcome to the future," John Granby, president of the Michigan/Indiana/Kentucky Region for Verizon Wireless, said in a press release. Little did he know, Detroit was already making strides into the future, with a thus far wildly successful fundraising campaign to erect a statue of RoboCop.





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