September 02, 2014

Getting to #1

By Dr. John Saw, Chief Network Officer

I’ve now been on the job at Sprint for nearly six months and I’m frequently asked about my goals for the network, which are really quite simple – to build and run America’s best wireless network.  What do we mean by “best?” Specifically, we aim to offer outstanding voice performance, the fastest peak data rates, and the most consistent data experience across most of our footprint. It’s no secret that it’s taken us a long time to overhaul our network, but the fact is, while we still have a tremendous amount of work to do, our customers are seeing real progress.

One important measurement of network performance is Reliability – the ability for a customer to establish and keep a data connection, make and retain a call, and send and receive texts. According to a report by RootMetrics® (an independent mobile analytics firm), we recently broke into the leaderboard with shared first-place rankings in RootMetrics’ Reliability Index in West Virginia and in six cities including Atlanta and Indianapolis. In RootMetrics’ state and metro studies, we received a shared first-place ranking 55 times between Call Performance, Text Performance, and Reliability measurements. While these results are still relatively small, our trajectory is headed in the right direction.

Airports are obviously an important location for customers to receive great cell service, and RootMetrics routinely measures network performance in airports across the country. Their most recent report found that Sprint was second in data performance at two of the busiest airports in the country - LAX and O’Hare International (ORD). We also posted the second fastest median downlink speeds at Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) and Tampa International Airport (TPA).

These are just a few of the early signs that Sprint’s network is moving in the right direction on its quest to become #1. Yes, it will take us some time to get there, but our contiguous spectrum at 2.5GHz, in conjunction with our other deployed bands, allows for carrier aggregation and other technologies to build the big pipes we need to ultimately offer better performance, faster speeds, and affordable unlimited data. Our competitors have deep pockets, and we must be judicious in how we spend our money and where we put our focus. But with our capacity we are uniquely suited to support customers’ voracious appetites for high-speed mobile data.

Our team is laser focused on an aggressive and efficient build to roll out new Sprint Spark markets and optimize network quality and performance. We recently structured our internal engineering teams regionally to better manage the network locally. And the 50-60Mbps peak speeds customers are seeing in Sprint Spark markets are indicative of where our network is headed. We're working hard to quickly bring this kind of outstanding performance to customers in cities across the country, and our team has never been more excited or certain about the future of the Sprint network.
Rankings based on applicable RootMetrics State, Metro and Airport RootScore® Reports for mobile performance as tested on best available plans and devices on 4 mobile networks across all available network types (January 2014 – August 2014). The RootMetrics award is not an endorsement of Sprint. Your results may vary. See www.rootmetrics.com for details.

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