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Sprint Buyout Set For July 10 Completion, Company Looks to Match Verizon’s High-Speed Coverage Within Two Years

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With SoftBank’s acquisition of Sprint set for completion on July 10, to the tune of $21.6 billion, SoftBank’s president is already talking investment plans for America’s third-ranked mobile carrier. Seeking approval to invest some $16 billion into Sprint’s network, Masayoshi Son looks to beat out AT&T and match Verizon’s high-speed network (4G LTE) coverage within just two years. 

As of this past March, Verizon was on the brink of completing their LTE roll out with roughly 500 LTE markets, a number that dwarfs Sprint’s current amount of markets at just 88. With the large investment going straight into pumping out higher speeds for customers, this is certainly a welcomed change as far as Sprint subscribers are concerned.

While Sprint continues to play catch up, Verizon will undoubtedly begin their forward motion towards the future of data in LTE-Advanced and “5G” networks.

Via: Nasdaq

Cheers Trevor!

  • Ron

    Sprint data sucks and voice coverage is even worse. Live in L.A. area and have used sprint (Nextel) for 10 years and everything went to crap at the first of the year. Ironically just after signing a new contract. Seems like their network has been cut in half and dropped calls like crazy. And what is LTE? I don’t think it exists in the L.A. Area. I drive around with a guy that has Verizon and he seems to always have LTE.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

    I am highly skeptical. But if they can do this, maintain the same costs, AND keep everything unlimited, I’m coming over. {{-_-}}

  • iNfAMOUS70702

    got sprint LTE in my town bout a month ago and it’s on par with big reds 4G…I’m pretty satisfied with sprint and don’t really regret leaving Verizon now

  • socalrailroader

    I wonder if they’ll finally build out in areas like mine (Mendocino County, Northwestern California), where they have a license but have never built out. In fact, in our area they are the last carrier with a license that hasn’t built out, AT&T, Verizon, U.S. Cellular, T-Mobile and Metro PCS have all built out, Sprint remains the loner.

  • LosAngelesBen

    Whether you are Red or Yellow doesn’t matter. Stop trying to defend your carrier choices and attempting to bash the opposing carrier and their subscribers. It’s sickening and excruciatingly immature to rip each other apart to puff yourself up. It’s like two 5 year olds arguing about whose doll is prettier or has the most dollhouse accessories.
    Try having a mature conversation about the actual article. Both companies are serious businesses competing for the top stake in the cellphone market. Both companies have a viable chance to become #1 in the next few years. Verizon has a powerful network. Sprint has a powerful support backing it. Verizon has fast speeds but data caps. Sprint has slower speeds but not data caps.

    You chose one, someone else chose another… Good for you; good for them.

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

    My guess is Sprint’s unlimited data plans will disappear with this new effort.

    • earth

      They’ll keep unlimited but will throttle streaming video.

    • Robbie Rob

      It won’t. Sprint’s new owner is putting more money into Sprint then Sprint could have afforded by far. Softbank is keeping unlimited data around because when the Sprint network looks great in another year it’ll steal customers using unlimited data..
      In fact Sprint WON’T need to throttle at all.. After Sprint bought Clearwire a few weeks ago – they now have more spectrum then ATT & Verizon combined. Spectrum is what you run out of when your network is too busy and has too many subscribers. Yes, it’ll take another year to get Clearwires spectrum integrated but it will happen. Right now many cities are already getting nextels old spectrum ( 800 MHZ ) from IDEN which was only turned off about 2 months ago ( if that ) to be used now as 800 Mhz LTE ( with the currently being rolled out 1900 Mhz LTE ).. Clearwire adds the 2500 Mhz band which will be great for busy areas because it’ll keep heavily populated areas from slowing down during peak times.

  • christinaleach325

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  • Brave_Hot_Girl

    Why would anyone in their right mind wait 2-3 *YEARS* for Sprint to catch up with Verizon??? I need to use my phone *TODAY*, not in 2015-2016. I can sign up with Verizon TODAY. NOW. This morning.

    Is this some kind of Sprint joke????

    • Maverick

      The article is solely based to keep the consumer informed so the consumer can go ahead and do what’s best for them. Life has choices and one size doesn’t fit all. Verizon has great service both coverage and performance and it does have some poor areas not as good, same goes with at&t and T Mobile. Many consumers go with Sprint & T Mobile simply due to the fact it covers their areas and no one out there can price match and many don’t go with Verizon and at&t simply because they nickle and dime everything/capped data plus verizon is well known for limited device choices, tons of bloatware and the most critical of them all.. slow updates and the last ones to get any if they’re lucky and that’s all on verizon.

      So bottom line go for what sets winds to your sails. :-D

      • earth

        I use up to 10GB/month and get decent LTE speeds on Sprint so VZW isnt even an option.

  • SemahjLam

    i just left sprint a month ago for tmobile, maybe ill be back in 2 years but as of right now i love tmobile I actually get lte

  • Maverick

    Great!

    Knew this, no surprise. Have Sprint and it’s been fantastic. 3G is speed performance of 2.45 Mbps dn & 0.77 Mbps up and 4G LTE is blazing fast at 35.53 Mbps dn & 10.34 Mbps up.

    Sweet spot! It’ll only get better.

    • SemahjLam

      you’re the lucky few

      • Maverick

        LOL I hear that a lot.

        • NYCHitman1

          I guess I’m part of that lucky few too. However, there’s a lot of us and not just a “few”

          • SemahjLam

            ….well a few would still be a lot of people considering sprint has millions of customers, and also I was kinda joking my sprint service started to pick up but was still slow. It’s sad when you get excited about 1mbs connection cause i was so used to being in kbs

    • Wild_Cat_Girl

      Great speeds. Too bad those are NOT the number people are getting with Sprint in 90% of the country.

      Have you seen their speed maps? Awful coverage.

      • Maverick

        Compared to Verizon and at&t, yes. I’m fortune it to have excellent coverage in my area. On that same note things are only going to get better for New Sprint Corp with Masayoshi Son at the helm, if you’ve read his track record he’s no slouch.

    • Prince Campbell III

      Really, where do you live at??

  • Prince Campbell III

    A lot of people will be quick to jump to Sprint, but only if they keep their plans unlimited. I have a feeling once they get their 4G rolling and it’s really legit, they are going to drop the unlimited plans, or they are going to add some thing that no one will agree with.

    • NYCHitman1

      Softbank maintains their stance on unlimited data in Japan, so I don’t see why that would change with Sprint. From a business standpoint, it would be suicide to get rid of unlimited data for Sprint.

    • Willie D

      Sprint already has a 4G network (WiMAX) and it offers unlimited data, and I dont see customers flocking to Sprint, I see customers leaving Sprint and their main reason. Slow Data, 4G that doesnt work anywhere, and high prices for the coverage and speed. The next reason, “I can get unlimited minutes at T-Mobile/MetroPCS for less than Sprint, and I never leave the city anyway”

      • Prince Campbell III

        WiMax isn’t the same as 4G LTE, which Sprint has. If you got look at their coverage map it says 3G, 4G WiMax, and 4G LTE. I know what I’m talking about make sure you do too.

  • Christian W

    If Sprint gets as much 4G coverage as Verizon, I would leave AT&T in a heartbeat and head back to Sprint. I left them when I had the HTC Evo, and that whole fiasco with 4G fees (yet Milwaukee and outer areas never got it), and the 3g was sub 56k modem speeds for me

    • NYCHitman1

      Just an FYI – that wasn’t Sprint’s fault. The rollout of WiMAX was being completed by a 3rd party vendor (Clearwire), who completely effed Sprint (and customers like yourself) over.

      • Christian W

        Yeah I agree we all got shafted in that deal. But I didnt like paying an extra 10.00 a month for 4G (as it was labeled when I got the phone) that never came, which they later termed a “smartphone” fee or something like that.. Plus I think I was able to test out WiMax when I was in Chicago once, wasnt very impressed

  • Soft Wank

    By the time Sprint gets close to matching Verizon and ATT, those other two will be on 5G.

    • earth

      Actually it will be easier for Sprint to goto nexgen LTE. Is just a software upgrade. The others have to rollout a new network.

  • BulletTooth_Tony

    Kinda hard to not have a faster network in 2 years. Their LTE network can’t get much slower.

    • michael arazan

      Verizon had a fast network, and keeds getting slower and slower on lte. In Jan 2012 i had 15 down 10 up, by june 2012 it was 12 down 6 up, by jan 2013 it was 10 down 4 up, and now is 8 down 2 up, all in the same place with the same phone , a GNex. I hope sprint can learn from their mistakes

      Verizon needs to reinforce their network instead of doing the bare minimum to label an area “Covered”.I live in St.L and they have 7 lte tower, along with the original regular ones, for 2 mil people and covering around 800 sq miles of St.L city and county.

      If verizon ever drops the unlimited data users I’ll be heading to sprint here because their coverage is better than att and t-mo, and I’ll never go back to t-mo after all the BS they put me through

    • earth

      Huh, I get up to 30Mbps on Sprint, though typically 6 to 20. Much more than any smartphone app needs. And I use up to 10GB/month so VZW isn’t even an option.

      • BulletTooth_Tony

        Did you even read my post or the one it was in reply to? “in 2 years Verizon will have an even faster network”… To which I said, it isn’t hard to do with how slow their LTE network is… What, precisely, do your speeds on Sprint have to do with Verizon having a faster network in 2 years or the fact their LTE is painfully slow right now?

  • jim

    They match verizons coverage and keep prices lower and ill kiss verizon goodbye in a heart beat

  • Miguel Angel Portela

    I wonder if it’ll be called Softbank US or something. Maybe not though.

    • John

      They’re going to keep the Sprint name and drop the Nextel name. It’s going to be called Sprint Corp.

  • Chris B

    I would be curious to see a poll; if Sprints network was, say, 70% as good as Verizon, how many would make the move to Sprint. I bet it would be a large number as many hates as Verizon has. The problem is, V doesn’t have any real competion…

  • Geoff Johnson

    And who wants to bet that they will discontinue their unlimited plans just like the big two have done once they match their coverage?

    • John

      They won’t. That’s the only they’re going to be able to compete with Verizon and AT&T. They’re not worried about network congestion since they bought Clearwire. Clearwire has a ton of spectrum. Sure, it’s not 800 mhz spectrum but it’ll be fine for offloading excess traffic from the 800 and 1900 mhz spectrum.

  • bzp

    Sprint is spreading themselves too thin. Their goal seems to cover a large number of markets. Meanwhile, the coverage in those markets is incomplete. 4g is unavailable in Midtown Manhattan (literally) 90%+ of the time. They should be making sure the markets they already have don’t suck, deliver the product their customers pay for, instead of pushing a few towers to a new city every month and gushing to blogs about their new markets.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/doomstang Doomstang

      It’s not like there’s 1 guy going around doing each tower install. They may be having issues in Manhattan but should they tell the guys in Florida to quit working on towers down there until they fix Manhattan?

    • Robbie Rob

      They aren’t spreading thin because they aren’t even done. Areas that are getting 4G LTE are being revisited 2 more times for upgrades.
      Now that Softbank bought Sprint bought Clearwire- Sprint now has more spectrum then ATT & Verizon combined. Spectrum is what you run out of when you “spread yourself too thin” by taking on too many customers.
      Sprint’s original plan was to spend 5 Billion on the New Vision Upgrade over 2 years and a few Billion more over another 7 years. Softbank who now owns Sprint is putting AN ADDITIONAL $16 BILLION into upgrading Sprint in the first 2 years and $4Billion more every year after till the network is complete.
      So Sprint has something now it didn’t have EVER before – both enough CASH and Spectrum to actually build a network that can compete. You can’t build a better network without cash and Sprint never had that until now.

      The work is far from complete.. but only 1 and a half years ago Sprint had virtually no LTE cities- Now they have 110, with around 200 by the end of 2013.. By 2014 Sprint will be respectable nationwide.. By 2015 they will be right there with the big players..
      Sprint’s NV upgrade isn’t a simple go to each towers and change a few panels out.. Sprint goes to each site and removes old Motorola equipment ( multiple freezer size cabinets ) and replaces it with new Samsung equipment that fits everything into one cabinet. Old backhaul is replaced by fiber.. Right now some upgraded sites are still awaiting fiber – this means speeds AREN’T yet as fast as they will be…

  • Nw_adventure

    Sprint is also adding coverage with the 12,000 Clearwire sites it owns- LTE upgrades all over the US in-progress, better late than never :)

    • Open_Bonnie

      > better late than never.

      Not in the cell tower business. If you are 2-3 YEARS behind other companies… it is nearly impossible to ever catch up. Every 2 years… you’ll still be years behind the new standards that keep coming out.

      Sprint slept too many years. Bye Sprint.

      • Nw_adventure

        I am actually in the business working on the Network Vision project- No doubt being behind can affect your customer base, actually have two good friends drop Sprint this year after years of service due to paying for 4G speeds but never getting them- With that being said Softbank is making a huge upgrade to existing sites, core and adding bandwidth with the clearwire locations. Until they have more rural and mountain area coverage I wouldant consider switching.. Just saying -

        • Willie D

          Unfortunately Sprint sold off its landline and most of its fiber optic business and now has to ask CenturyLink, AT&T and Verizon to install fiber to their sites, which is happening a lot slower in every single metro area than Sprint hoped it would. Proving once again the duopoly is dictating that Sprint will be in the toilet… just saying.

  • Eric

    I left Sprint last month and signed my money away to Verizon. Only thing Sprint has going for it is still offering unlimited data plans…besides that their network is currently crap.

  • Booyabobby

    Like Dr. Rumack said on Airplane! “I just want to tell you both good luck. We’re all counting on you.”

    • Trevor

      You win the internet today for that comment.

  • jamief

    I love listening to people defend Verizon. You rank right up there with the brain-dead d-bags who buy into all the dog crap Cupertino shovels into its customers’ throats. Keep defending the big bad wolf; pay them your hard-earned money. I have Sprint, excellent coverage wherever I go, I pay half what anyone pays on Verizon, and I get unlimited everything. I win. Game over. Good-bye… d-bags.

    • Sean Plantz

      Thats good you live in one of the areas with good coverage.. I would switch to sprint too if I got more than just voice coverage. For a lot of us, Verizon is the only carrier with consistent coverage wherever you go. Its not about being a FanBoi, or being an itard, its about being able to use your phone.. Get over yourself.

    • OreoMan

      Wow, you’re d-bag for assuming everyone lives in an area where Sprint has great coverage. Their coverage is abysmal at best in Colorado. Before you go calling people names, do your homework first dipwad!

    • timrcm

      We’ve recently switched ~90 of our business lines from Sprint to Verizon because of absolutely terrible rural coverage. If you have coverage where you’re at and don’t ever travel anywhere then that’s fantastic, but realize that you are NOT the norm.

    • AlbanyNY

      Albany, NY here. Sprint is slow as dirt. Mom and aunt have it and I hate trying to get them to a website or to download. Myself I have Verizon. Coverage and speed is solid, as well as when I travel. I’m Not defending Verizon’s high prices, but I certainly can’t complain about the network.

      • NYCHitman1

        You get what you paid for.

    • abrego47

      my sister in laws bill from sprint was way over the bill they said it would be. and my verizon bill was way less and more coverage

    • Sprint sucks

      I find it funny how many people are too ignorant to actually check prices before making dumb comments like this, with Verizons new share plans a family of 2 or more can actually be CHEAPER than Sprint. Sprints network is pathetic (and I was there top rep nationally for a year), I left Them and went to Verizon and pay the same but my flipping phone works. Don’t believe the hype, Sprint was telling employees this crap for years, they are doing NOTHING because they make NO MONEY because of DEACTS!!!!

  • Pedro

    Dude needs to get GSM running on his network. CDMA is (should be) dead.
    There’s your $16B investment.

    • Tony Gultice

      GSM will be dead as well once VoLTE gets brought out. LTE is essentially a merging of the best of GSM and CDMA. Why would they invest in older technology when it’s replacement is coming in?

    • Mike Jones

      Why should CDMA be dead? There isnt a better tech so dont even try and say GSM is better cause you can switch phones really fast…

      • Mike Jones

        There isnt a better tech between the two*

      • Pedro

        It’s an aging, non-open standard that is really only available in the US.
        Other than that, you’ve got an itty bitty basket to store all your eggs.

        • moew

          And the voice quality is actually quality on CDMA.

          The carriers here in the USA (.com website, hello!), were forged from their technologies. I don’t understand how people can stand GSM phone calls brjjjjaaaak, tap tap tap brjjjjaaaank stutter stutter stutter.

          Sure tomorrow will be different, but the giants got to where they are today with these technologies, and I would rather have VZW crystal clear voice over ATT dropped calls and voice problems.

          • Pedro

            I can’t make any claim about voice quality, except that I haven’t had an issue.
            Dropped calls in my house are universal between T-mobile (me), AT&T/StraightTalk (daughter), and VZW (wife work phone). I blame the radiant barrier construction used in Houston.

            But I could use my phone when I traveled to Scotland without issues (except for timezone issues). I don’t expect issues when I go to Mexico in a few weeks for vacation.

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            Call quality on CDMA is far inferior to the higher bitrate AMR Full Rate GSM and UMTS provide… Which is above landline quality. Sorry about your woefully outdated information.

    • Willie D

      You know, I agree with you on this one. Telus and Bell Canada BOTH saw EVDO/CDMA as obsolete, both of them moved to HSPA+ and LTE. If Sprint moved to HSPA+42 not only could it have bigger roaming agreements nationally and internationally, lowered network costs in the long run, ability to run along side T-Mobile and AT&T giving them a run for money but cheaper handset exclusives, and think of all the freedom it could have to upgrade to faster speeds its spectrum holdings offer via carrier aggregation! It would have a great solid 4G network to fall back onto plus a clearcut upgrade path to LTE.

  • Mike Jones

    Verizon has to spend a lot more to get LTE-A up and running since they have to do hardware changes on each tower. Sprints new setup just needs a software update to goto LTE-A. Also Sprint will be the first with HD voice and with their new network setup they won’t get reduced speeds like Verizon does during peak, high volume times.

    But yes Sprint sucks right now but in time it will be just as good if not better then the other carriers.

    • zepfloyd

      not entirely accurate.

    • https://www.facebook.com/aaron.williams.125 Champion1229

      While it may be more expensive for Verizon, they also have more customers and their profit margins already allow them to spend on average $6 billion a year in network maintenance / expansion. So they have the capital and the infrastructure (technicians, trucks, etc) to keep their network going.

      • Willie D

        From what I understand its just one guy walking around “Can you hear me now?” and a few other people in some trucks… I could be wrong.

    • BulletTooth_Tony

      It’s kinda hard to be the first with HD Voice when T-Mobile has had it since November and AT&T is gearing up to launch it any time.

      • James Thompson

        There’s already HD voice calling apps anyway

    • Wise_Sexy_Girl

      Who needs HD voice. I’ve listened to it… and see VERY little difference at all. Another pointless marketing gimmick.

      Besides, I use my phone for 90% *NON* voice purposes every day.

      • BulletTooth_Tony

        So in other words, you’ve never listened to it. Very little difference… You’re so FOS your butt must be itchy.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwVPkt6vwEw

      • Willie D

        HD Voice on GSM makes the quality sound like CDMA has for years…which is to say, a lot better than it did, but still not “life-like”

    • Willie D

      Technically Sprint enabled HD Voice FIRST, but only in markets that were CDMA 1x Advanced upgraded (which is very few markets) and it only worked on the HTC EVO LTE. T-Mobile enabled it nationally through the entire network in all forms, and it is available on many devices from Samsung and even the Nexus 4. And yes, Sprint WILL get reduced speeds during peak high volume times. Why? Because they have only allotted 5×5 on the 1900Mhz spectrum for their LTE network. They are only allotting 5×5 on their newly refarmed Nextel 800 ESMR spectrum as well, and are waiting to launch LTE on the other blocks of 1900Mhz they own, but even then it will only be 10×10 MAX to start.

  • Adam Truelove

    And more coverage. Like every square inch of the country coverage.

  • Mike Jones

    Sprint isn’t saying this, Softbank is. The CEO of softbank isnt a slouch either, google him.

    • Paul Hansen

      this

  • Sean Plantz

    I would love to have sprint, or t-mobile for the matter if they had any sort of coverage around where I live… Att is pretty terrible round these parts as well, im pretty much stuck with Verizon and its LTE EVERYWHERE for now…

    • Adam Truelove

      Good ol Verizon. Amazing network, crap phones.

      • Sean Plantz

        I agree, Its the only thing that makes me consider switching, but then I see that none of the other networks have even 3g within 2 towns of me (I live in between 4 cities, in upstate NY, so not in the middle of nowhere) I just cant see getting an amazing GSM phone with no coverage. My Maxx HD will do for now…