Feature Article

July 29, 2013

Sprint Losing Ground Rapidly in the LTE Battle

Sprint is falling far behind Verizon, AT&T and even T-Mobile as its snail-like pace for launching its own LTE system is damaging its reputation. All of the other companies have already launched their super-fast LTE systems, while Sprint has only managed to launch limited service in San Francisco and two of the five boroughs in New York City. 

Sprint has been facing epic problems with losing customers for four consecutive quarters, largely due to the closure of the Nextel network. T-Mobile has made a huge charge to garner customers at the same time that Verizon and AT&T are pulling away from Sprint. Once T-Mobile announced that it was going to launch its LTE system, it had it up and running within six months. This truly made Sprint customers want to know what it is that Sprint was doing that was causing such a huge delay. In the war of mobile carriers, this has made Sprint less competitive. 

Image via Shutterstock

The head of network development and integration for Sprint, Iyad Tarazi, said, “We all would like this to go faster. If there was a silver bullet, we would have found one.”

Sprint made some very strong promises two years ago that it was going to have an LTE system running and, now, many of the major cities are still running the outdated 3G system. A large problem Sprint has faced is its lack of fiber infrastructure to support its cell towers and it made a mistake by trying to upgrade its 3G and 4G systems. 

Tarazi defends what has happened, saying, "We understand that it's a disruption, and we want to finish this as soon as possible. We understand that more than people give us credit for."

The speed at which a network is capable of functioning is what the large companies fight for in order to gain more control of the markets. There has been a lot of advertising money spent to spread the word about how fast their systems run and that if they have LTE, they have the fastest speed available. 

If Sprint does not have its system running soon in the major markets, the company will start to see many of its customers switching to one of the other carriers that offer an LTE system that works.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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