The third largest U.S. wireless network operator,
), is teaming up with Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) and
NetAmerica Alliance to accelerate 4G LTE deployment in rural
America. Apart from this new partnership, Sprint is also planning
to add 700 MHz Band 12 to its devices beginning next year.
The aforementioned partnership has been named as Small Market
Alliance for Rural Transformation (SMART). As per the deal, CCA
and NetAmerica Alliance subscribers will be able to roam on
Sprints' LTE network through CCA's Data Services Hub. On the
other hand, Sprint can use CCA and NetAmerica Alliance local
The collaboration is expected to enhance Sprint's LTE coverage
to 250 million people by mid-2014. Sprint's competitior Verizon
covers over 300 million customers under its LTE network.
Verizon Wireless started a program in 2010 called LTE Rural
America in order to widen its LTE network coverage in rural
areas. The company leases its 700 MHz spectrum to rural mobile
operators to build LTE network. However, CCA President and CEO,
Steven Berry feels that Sprint's program is better than Verizon's
as operators are not forced to use Sprint's spectrum but can use
their own spectrum as well.
Deployment of LTE network is rapidly gaining global momentum.
Recently, the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) reported
that currently 274 LTE networks are commercially available in 101
countries. The GSA estimated that more than 350 LTE networks will
be commercially functional by the end of 2014.
Notably, in Nov 2013, the GSM Association's research wing,
GMSA Intelligence, forecasted the existence of over 1 billion
global LTE connections by 2017. It also reported that LTE users
consume more data and also generate 10-40% higher average revenue
per user (ARPU) than non-LTE consumers.
We believe that this new initiative taken by Sprint will help
the company to safeguard its position against major companies
Verizon Communications Inc.
T-Mobile US, Inc.
). Apart from this, the company's revenues and ARPU will also
benefit from the collaboration going forward.
Sprint currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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