Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sprint Invests $7 Billion in Network Upgrades in 2006

Sprint spent almost $7 billion in 2006 for network upgrades, most of which has gone to enhance its wireless and IP networks. Some highlights for the year:

Sprint will have added more than 3,000 cell sites to its Nationwide Sprint PCS Network and National Nextel Network in large, medium and small markets across the country.

In late October, Sprint upgraded the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network to high-speed EV-DO (Evolution -- Data Optimized) Revision A technology in San Diego, the first U.S. market to receive EV-DO Rev. A. Since then, EV-DO Rev. A coverage has expanded to nearly 2,900 cities and nearly 67 million people -- which surpassed the previously announced goal of 40 million people by the end of the year.

In early August, Sprint announced its plans to develop the first fourth generation (4G) nationwide mobile broadband network and deploy it in initial markets in 2007. A nationwide rollout is targeted for 2008. The 4G wireless broadband network will use the mobile WiMAX IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard.

Sprint continued upgrades to its Tier 1 IP network, Next-Generation Voice Network (NGVN) and wireless-wireline converged services, which all play a key role in the Sprint Cable Joint Venture. The company is deploying Cisco CRS-1 routers to scale the IP core. By the end of 2007, most U.S. core sites are expected to have a Cisco CRS-1 system. Sprint is the first Tier 1 IP provider to place the Cisco CRS-1 into service.

Cable Voice over IP (VoIP) subscribers more than doubled year over year in the third quarter, and Sprint expects continued impressive growth in this area.

MPLS growth was explosive, with Sprint's net revenues from MPLS nearly tripling year over year in the third quarter.