by Dr. John Saw
Chief Technology Officer

Sprint’s Next-Gen Network build gains momentum in second fiscal quarter 

October 31, 2018

5G is nearly here, but it’s no secret that LTE has a long runway, playing a critical role in delivering a great wireless experience for customers in the years ahead. This is one of the reasons we’re investing billions in our Next-Gen Network, building a strong LTE Advanced network while we work to launch mobile 5G in the first half of next year.

We’ve been steadily rolling out LTE Advanced technologies such as 256 QAM, 4X4 MIMO, enhanced Beamforming with Transmission Mode 9 (TM9) and two- and three-channel Carrier Aggregation. In addition, we are also enhancing our Uplink performance with capabilities like Uplink Carrier Aggregation, 64 QAM and High Performance User Equipment (HPUE). And we’re in the process of supercharging these capabilities with Massive MIMO! All these features are giving customers an even better LTE data experience, and they’re important stepping stones to 5G, providing a strong fallback layer to ensure customers move seamlessly between our LTE and 5G networks.

We’re excited to report that our LTE Advanced network is now nationwide, delivering up to 2X faster speeds than before. And in more than 225 cities we’re now delivering gigabit-class LTE performance.1 This includes many of the largest cities in the country – Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C., with many more on the way. These Sprint LTE Advanced capabilities enable customers nationwide using the latest flagship devices to download movies, music and games, share photos and more, all up to twice as fast as before.2

Small Cells and Massive MIMO Gain Momentum

In addition to these LTE Advanced capabilities, our network team remains hard at work rolling out more capacity and new network infrastructure.

On the small cells front, we continue to make great progress with more small cells being lit up in the past six months than in the previous two years combined. Today we now have more than 21,000 2.5 GHz outdoor small cells on-air, compared to only 2,000 last year. This includes approximately 15,000 strand mount small cells deployed on cable infrastructure, and about 6,500 on-street mini macros.

Indoors, our award-winning Sprint Magic Box continues to improve service for businesses and consumers with more than 264,000 distributed to date. And this past quarter we launched two new versions – the Sprint Magic Box Hospitality Edition and our smaller, faster, gigabit-class LTE Sprint Magic Box Generation 3, which will be available starting this November.

Our network teams also continue to light up more 5G-ready Massive MIMO radios in preparation to launch Sprint 5G next year in nine of some of the largest cities in the country: New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Kansas City and Washington, D.C. This breakthrough technology dramatically improves the capacity of our LTE network and is software upgradable to 5G. We’re extremely pleased with the early commercial performance on these Massive MIMO sites using 64T64R radios. Compared to our 8T8R radios, we’re currently seeing an impressive 4X increase in speeds, and more importantly, a 7X increase in capacity.

Best-Ever Performance in Fastest Download Speeds

Our Next-Gen Network investment is clearly taking hold, delivering a better wireless experience for our customers. In fact, the latest quarterly data from Ookla® Speedtest Intelligence® shows Sprint had its best-ever ranking with the fastest average download speed in 123 cities, our most city wins to date.3 And we continue to be the most improved carrier in the country, with national average download speeds up a significant 31.5% year-over-year.4

Similarly, recent Nielsen drive test data in the top 106 markets across the country, shows Sprint is by far the most improved carrier with download speeds up 72% year-over-year.5

The key driver behind our improved data speeds is the deployment of more 2.5 GHz spectrum. Today 2.5 GHz is deployed on roughly 70% of our macro sites – compared to about 50% one year ago – and we remain on track to complete the majority of our triband upgrades by the end of this fiscal year.

Continuing our Next-Gen Network Investment

It’s been a busy second fiscal quarter and I’m proud of the milestone we reached with LTE Advanced technology deployed nationwide, serving up gigabit-class performance in hundreds of cities. Millions of customers now have a data experience that’s up to twice as fast as before. And these technologies play a vital role supporting the roll-out of Sprint 5G in the first half of 2019.

We remain laser-focused on executing our largest network investment in years. Customers all across the country are experiencing better coverage, reliability and speed as we upgrade cell sites to triband service, add new cell sites and small cells, and deploy Massive MIMO technology.

We also continue to advocate for the many benefits of a merger with T-Mobile. We’re confident that our Next-Gen Network investment will help the combined company rapidly create the best nationwide mobile 5G network, fueling unprecedented levels of innovation here in the U.S. and around the globe.

-- John

 

1 On gigabit-class devices.

2 Compared to Sprint 4G LTE.

3 Analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data average download speeds from 7/1/18 to 9/30/18 for all mobile results.

4 Analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data comparing average download speeds from September 2017 to September 2018 for all mobile results. 

5 Sprint’s analysis of Nielsen’s Drive Test data in the top 106 markets for GET3 speeds (10 seconds 1GB parallel file download testing network capability) comparing 2017 D1 to latest drives (completed from 4/18 to 9/18)

Important Additional Information

In connection with the proposed transaction, T-Mobile US, Inc. (“T-Mobile”) has filed a registration statement on Form S-4, which contains a preliminary joint consent solicitation statement of T-Mobile and Sprint Corporation (“Sprint”), that also constitutes a preliminary prospectus of T-Mobile (the “joint consent solicitation statement/prospectus”), and each party will file other documents regarding the proposed transaction with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).  INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE JOINT CONSENT SOLICITATION STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION.  When final, a definitive copy of the joint consent solicitation statement/prospectus will be sent to T-Mobile and Sprint stockholders.  Investors and security holders may obtain these documents free of charge from the SEC’s website or from T-Mobile or Sprint.  The documents filed by T-Mobile may be obtained free of charge at T-Mobile’s website, at www.t-mobile.com, or at the SEC’s website, at www.sec.gov, or from T-Mobile by requesting them by mail at T-Mobile US, Inc., Investor Relations, 1 Park Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10016, or by telephone at 212-358-3210.  The documents filed by Sprint may be obtained free of charge at Sprint’s website, at www.sprint.com, or at the SEC’s website, at www.sec.gov, or from Sprint by requesting them by mail at Sprint Corporation, Shareholder Relations, 6200 Sprint Parkway, Mailstop KSOPHF0302-3B679, Overland Park, Kansas 66251, or by telephone at 913-794-1091.

Participants in the Solicitation

T-Mobile and Sprint and their respective directors and executive officers and other members of management and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of consents in respect of the proposed transaction.  Information about T-Mobile’s directors and executive officers is available in T-Mobile’s proxy statement dated April 26, 2018, for its 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.  Information about Sprint’s directors and executive officers is available in Sprint’s proxy statement dated June 26, 2018, for its 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, and in Sprint’s subsequent Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on July 2, 2018.  Other information regarding the participants in the consent solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be contained in the joint consent solicitation statement/prospectus and other relevant materials filed with the SEC regarding the transaction when they become available.  Investors should read the joint consent solicitation statement/prospectus carefully before making any voting or investment decisions.  You may obtain free copies of these documents from T-Mobile or Sprint as indicated above.

No Offer or Solicitation

This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.  No offering of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This communication contains certain forward-looking statements concerning T-Mobile, Sprint and the proposed transaction between T-Mobile and Sprint. All statements other than statements of fact, including information concerning future results, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “could” or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the proposed transaction, including anticipated future financial and operating results, synergies, accretion and growth rates, T-Mobile’s, Sprint’s and the combined company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, and the expected timing of completion of the proposed transaction. There are several factors which could cause actual plans and results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, the failure to obtain, or delays in obtaining, required regulatory approvals, and the risk that such approvals may result in the imposition of conditions that could adversely affect the combined company or the expected benefits of the proposed transaction, or the failure to satisfy any of the other conditions to the proposed transaction on a timely basis or at all; the occurrence of events that may give rise to a right of one or both of the parties to terminate the business combination agreement; adverse effects on the market price of T-Mobile’s or Sprint’s common stock and on T-Mobile’s or Sprint’s operating results because of a failure to complete the proposed transaction in the anticipated timeframe or at all; inability to obtain the financing contemplated to be obtained in connection with the proposed transaction on the expected terms or timing or at all; the ability of T-Mobile, Sprint and the combined company to make payments on debt or to repay existing or future indebtedness when due or to comply with the covenants contained therein; adverse changes in the ratings of T-Mobile’s or Sprint’s debt securities or adverse conditions in the credit markets; negative effects of the announcement, pendency or consummation of the transaction on the market price of T-Mobile’s or Sprint’s common stock and on T-Mobile’s or Sprint’s operating results, including as a result of changes in key customer, supplier, employee or other business relationships; significant transaction costs, including financing costs, and unknown liabilities; failure to realize the expected benefits and synergies of the proposed transaction in the expected timeframes or at all; costs or difficulties related to the integration of Sprint’s network and operations into T-Mobile; the risk of litigation or regulatory actions; the inability of T-Mobile, Sprint or the combined company to retain and hire key personnel; the risk that certain contractual restrictions contained in the business combination agreement during the pendency of the proposed transaction could adversely affect T-Mobile’s or Sprint’s ability to pursue business opportunities or strategic transactions; effects of changes in the regulatory environment in which T-Mobile and Sprint operate; changes in global, political, economic, business, competitive and market conditions; changes in tax and other laws and regulations; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in the Form S-4, as well as in Sprint’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017 and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q, including in the sections thereof captioned “Risk Factors” and “MD&A – Forward-Looking Statements,” as well as in its subsequent reports on Form 8-K, all of which are filed with the SEC and available at www.sec.gov and www.sprint.com. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions, which are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Given these risks and uncertainties, persons reading this communication are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. Sprint assumes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this communication (whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise), except as required by applicable law.