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Reuters reports that Sprint is significantly accelerating its transition from WiMAX to LTE for its 4G network technology, aiming to complete its LTE buildout by the end of 2013.
Sprint Nextel Corp plans to upgrade its network in time to launch high-speed wireless services by the middle of 2012 and expects to complete its upgrade by the end of 2013, a top executive for the company said on Friday.
Engadget notes that Sprint is planning to offer LTE coverage for 123 million Americans by the end of 2012, increasing to over 250 million by the time the buildout is complete a year later.

sprint_iphone_4s_banner.jpg



Reuters also notes that Sprint CEO Dan Hesse addressed the carrier's offering of the iPhone, for which pre-orders began just hours ago. With sources claiming that Sprint has committed to purchasing $20 billion worth of iPhones over the next four years, there have been concerns over the short-term hit to Sprint's profitability as it absorbs hundreds of dollars in subsidies for each unit until it earns the money back over time in service contracts.

But Hesse reports that iPhone is ultimately expected to be one of Sprint's most profitable handsets over time.
The company, which started taking pre-orders for the Apple Inc iPhone on Friday, said that while the device is more expensive than others, the iPhone will be "quite accretive" to profitability and cash flow over time.

Chief Executive Dan Hesse said he expects the popular device to be one of Sprint's most profitable, but he did not give specifics.
While the iPhone 4S does not support LTE, it seems that component availability could be lining up for an LTE iPhone by the third quarter of next year, by which time Verizon and AT&T will have fairly substantial LTE coverage and Sprint will be in the early stages of its rollout.

Article Link: Sprint Aiming to Launch LTE Network in Mid-2012, Full Buildout by End of 2013
 

sigma8

macrumors regular
Feb 2, 2005
123
7
Is there really a big concern over the subsidy absorption? It's not like they have to buy all $20 billion worth of phones at once. Assuming they actually sell $20 billion worth of iPhones (which is probably what will happen), wouldn't they be in exactly the same boat if they DIDN'T have the agreement?

They'd still be paying a subsidy for each new customer, and making it up over time. AT&T and Verizon are each, today, doing this for each new customer on every iPhone. The only difference with Sprint is that it has committed towards a healthy minimum.

As long as they don't fall short of their goals, it should be business as usual.
 

navindralr

macrumors member
Jun 29, 2010
70
0
I'm sure sprint had many of their analysts run the numbers on the profit margin, long term profits, etc. A lot of people are acting like Sprint blindly did this. I'm sure executives at Spring didn't just wake up one day, and were like, hey lets but 20 billion worth of iPhones. Obv done for a reason, and a very good reason...
 

smithrh

macrumors 68030
Feb 28, 2009
2,596
1,411
What happened, Sprint? You were so big on WiMAX not long ago...

LTE happened. Sprint bet a lot early on WiMAX, but very few followed as they knew LTE was coming.

Basically, it turned out to be a bad bet.
 

edk99

macrumors 6502a
May 27, 2009
859
1,409
FL
This has been the timeline all along. iPhone 5/6 in 2012 will 99.9999% be 4g/LTE. Thanks for the news flash
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,688
170
Is there really a big concern over the subsidy absorption? It's not like they have to buy all $20 billion worth of phones at once. Assuming they actually sell $20 billion worth of iPhones (which is probably what will happen), wouldn't they be in exactly the same boat if they DIDN'T have the agreement?

They'd still be paying a subsidy for each new customer, and making it up over time. AT&T and Verizon are each, today, doing this for each new customer on every iPhone. The only difference with Sprint is that it has committed towards a healthy minimum.

As long as they don't fall short of their goals, it should be business as usual.

AT&T was barely profitable or showed a small loss the first few years of the iphone. with sprint it wouldn't surprise me if apple is financing their iphone subsidies to free up cash for LTE build out
 

Tiger8

macrumors 68020
May 23, 2011
2,479
649
LTE happened. Sprint bet a lot early on WiMAX, but very few followed as they knew LTE was coming.

Basically, it turned out to be a bad bet.

I agree it is not the best bet, but contrary to popular belief, Sprint leases WiMax bandwidth from another company, ClearVision (I think). Their contract will end in 2013. It gave Sprint the advantage of having a higher speed network long before any of the other 3 had, and if it wasn't for the iPhone AT&T deal, Sprint would have scored much better.
 

unlimitedx

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2010
635
0
AT&T was barely profitable or showed a small loss the first few years of the iphone. with sprint it wouldn't surprise me if apple is financing their iphone subsidies to free up cash for LTE build out

AT&T lost 2.6B in 2008, but in 2009 made 12B and 2010 made 20B
 

bacaramac

macrumors 65816
Dec 29, 2007
1,422
81
It looks like Sprint has confirmed that all phones will move to LTE. If their plan is complete this in 2013, I would guess the next iPhone would be LTE as the integrated LTE chips are available.

From this is my next live blog:
8:08 am 800MHz CDMA is integrated into most 2011 devices and will be on all 2012 devices, and all of Sprint's OEMs will move to LTE in their handsets.

8:10 am Sprint thinks LTE devices will cost less than WiMAX over time — they're saying the Qualcomm 8960 will be in many of their phones next year.

8:12 am "What are we going to be doing next year?" Handsets will be dual-mode CDMA / LTE products. 15- plus devices.
 

bacaramac

macrumors 65816
Dec 29, 2007
1,422
81
I wonder how this relates to an iPhone 5 (6... 4GsV2?) release in July?

The most reasonable thing I have seen is the new LTE integrated chip available in Q3 2012 and suitable for the iPhone. I would guess Apple will keep same release schedule for next year. Oct.
 

jclardy

macrumors 68040
Oct 6, 2008
3,711
3,120
Looks like i'll be waiting a year for the LTE iPhone. The 4S looks nice as I would use the camera and Siri plus the A5 would be a nice bonus, but my upgrade is not till February at which point I would rather wait 6 more months then to get stuck on a two year contract.

Especially since at the time of iPhone "5" I will be free from my contract so I can go to whichever carrier has the best LTE network.
 

RalfTheDog

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2010
1,640
597
Lagrange Point
Looks like i'll be waiting a year for the LTE iPhone. The 4S looks nice as I would use the camera and Siri plus the A5 would be a nice bonus, but my upgrade is not till February at which point I would rather wait 6 more months then to get stuck on a two year contract.

Especially since at the time of iPhone "5" I will be free from my contract so I can go to whichever carrier has the best LTE network.

With the 4s camera, I think the 4s should come with a tripod mount.

:)
 

blow45

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2011
1,576
0
who give a flying f. what with Steve's demise these articles are offensive to be on the first page, as per usual a faux pas by the usually clumsy and inept macrumors. Btw, I liked your live stream.;)
 

marcusj0015

macrumors 65816
Aug 29, 2011
1,024
1
U.S.A.
I was just on the Apple site, and they said the iPhone will only work on the network to sign up for...


does that mean it will only work on Sprint no mater what, or would i be able to travel internationally like they said at the iPhone 4S event?
 

smithrh

macrumors 68030
Feb 28, 2009
2,596
1,411
I agree it is not the best bet, but contrary to popular belief, Sprint leases WiMax bandwidth from another company, ClearVision (I think). Their contract will end in 2013. It gave Sprint the advantage of having a higher speed network long before any of the other 3 had, and if it wasn't for the iPhone AT&T deal, Sprint would have scored much better.

You're thinking of Clearwire (now Clear).

Basically, you can think of Clear as Sprint for the purposes of this conversation, you can look up the history of Clearwire/Clear for yourself if you want to.

So, if Sprint is screwing Clear with this, then Sprint is screwing Sprint.

Yeah, I know it sounds odd but then again Sprint has done many many daft things over the last 10 years or so. If I wasn't under NDA I could share a few of them. I don't know who had Sprint's ear during that time, but they were advised quite poorly, and repeatedly so.

I will say that if the technical details of the announcement today have been reported correctly (and that's a pretty big if), then Sprint may finally be on the right path. I see a couple of important moves that signal to me that they may finally "get it" and be making the right moves they need to take.
 

heisetax

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2004
943
0
Omaha, NE
This is a great story to have on page 1. This shows the results of Steve Jobs work with the iPhone. I t had so much control that it is even changing Sprint from WiMax to LTE. Great work MacRumors. This is just one of the great tributes that we are seeing to the legacy of Steve Jobs.
 

marcusj0015

macrumors 65816
Aug 29, 2011
1,024
1
U.S.A.
The most reasonable thing I have seen is the new LTE integrated chip available in Q3 2012 and suitable for the iPhone. I would guess Apple will keep same release schedule for next year. Oct.

if the chip dosen't come out until october, and they keep the fall launch schedule, it will not have that chip... Apple has to test networks, power usage and write drivers for it.
 

Tiger8

macrumors 68020
May 23, 2011
2,479
649
I was just on the Apple site, and they said the iPhone will only work on the network to sign up for...


does that mean it will only work on Sprint no mater what, or would i be able to travel internationally like they said at the iPhone 4S event?

You can roam internationally rightaway, and by theory the phone has the hardware that can be unlocked to work on any GSM or CDMA carrier, since the chip supports both.

The Verizon iPhone 4 on the other hand is useless outside the states. No signal at all even if you wanted to

----------

if the chip dosen't come out until october, and they keep the fall launch schedule, it will not have that chip... Apple has to test networks, power usage and write drivers for it.

I think the chip is scheduled for Q2 2012, meaning that it might just make it in the iPhone 5/6 next October, NOvember the latest. I don't see Apple missing out on a HUGE opportunity like LTE next year, when 80% will be covered the the right chip is ready.
 

marcusj0015

macrumors 65816
Aug 29, 2011
1,024
1
U.S.A.
You can roam internationally rightaway, and by theory the phone has the hardware that can be unlocked to work on any GSM or CDMA carrier, since the chip supports both.

The Verizon iPhone 4 on the other hand is useless outside the states. No signal at all even if you wanted to

Ok, cool. the wording was a bit off. thanks
 

heisetax

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2004
943
0
Omaha, NE
You're thinking of Clearwire (now Clear).

Basically, you can think of Clear as Sprint for the purposes of this conversation, you can look up the history of Clearwire/Clear for yourself if you want to.

So, if Sprint is screwing Clear with this, then Sprint is screwing Sprint.

Yeah, I know it sounds odd but then again Sprint has done many many daft things over the last 10 years or so. If I wasn't under NDA I could share a few of them. I don't know who had Sprint's ear during that time, but they were advised quite poorly, and repeatedly so.

I will say that if the technical details of the announcement today have been reported correctly (and that's a pretty big if), then Sprint may finally be on the right path. I see a couple of important moves that signal to me that they may finally "get it" and be making the right moves they need to take.

The word is that ClearWire is looking for some money to also build into the LTE space with Sprint being one of its customers. I wonder how much this has to do with Sprint's plans. This screwing may just be the way that things are working out. How much does having the iPhone work in this deal?
 

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,473
8,169
Somewhere
I was just on the Apple site, and they said the iPhone will only work on the network to sign up for...


does that mean it will only work on Sprint no mater what, or would i be able to travel internationally like they said at the iPhone 4S event?

You would be able to travel internationally, but most likely Sprint wont unlock the GSM side so you'll be stuck paying sprint's roaming rates. You will be able to roam on GSM carriers though which opens up most of the world.
 

Dr. Weezil

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2011
37
2
What happened, Sprint? You were so big on WiMAX not long ago...

They ran out of money and never built out the WiMAX network. They then hoped to use Clearwire's hardware in lieu of their own when they bought a majority stake in the company. Then Clearwire ran out of money and their build-out was put on hold.

Now Sprint is planning on transitioning to LTE?

With what money?

Vis a vis the iPhone on Sprint, do they honestly expect to make money on volume despite losing money on every unit?!?
 
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