Sprint Nextel Corp.
), one of the leading wireless providers in the U.S., has added a
new device - Sonim XP STRIKE IS - to its Direct Connect product
portfolio. The phone, manufactured by Sonim Technologies, comes
with an inbuilt push-to-talk technology, especially designed to
provide wireless communications in hazardous surroundings like
gaseous or explosive atmospheres.
Sonim XP STRIKE IS incorporates durability and ruggedness with
military specifications, backed by a three-year warranty. The
phone can be availed through Sprint Stores, Business Sales or
Telesales for $599.99 excluding taxes, with a new connection or
an upgrade. The device has a two-year contract.
Beside Sonim XP STRIKE IS, Sprint also launched Sonim XP STRIKE
last year, supported by Sprint's domestic push-to-talk calls and
international coverage to Latin American countries. In 2012,
Sprint added more coverage to its Sprint Direct Connect
push-to-talk service, which was thrice the push-to-talk coverage
under the Nextel platform.
We believe that the company's move on expanding its push-to-talk
platform along with devices remains part of its Network Vision
strategy to expand the core Sprint platform. The company is
already increasing penetration of smartphones, iPhones in
particular, and data plans to accelerate post-paid wireless
subscriber growth. Further, incorporating push-to-talk devices to
the Sprint Direct Connect portfolio are expected to generate
additional synergies by increasing contractual services.
As part of the Network Vision strategy, the company launched LTE
services initially in five major markets in Jul 2012. In 2013,
the company expects to have LTE coverage for approximately 200
million customers, 170 additional markets, depending upon
Sprint has already completed the 29,000 sites and leased
27,000 sites at the end of 2012. The Network Vision strategy is
expected to result in the efficient use of capital, reduction of
cell sites, the elimination of dual networks, backhaul
efficiencies, reduced churn, lower roaming charges and energy
cost savings. Hence, through this program the company is expected
to generate $10 billion to $11 billion in savings over the next
seven years (2011-2017).
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Nevertheless, increased competition from top carriers like
Verizon Communications Inc.
), heavy investments, lofty iPhone subsidies and continued
wireline margin erosion keep us on the sidelines. In addition, we
also remain cautious over the Sprint, SoftBank and
) deal, which might face opposition from rival companies given
its significance over spectrum transactions.
Sprint has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).