Sprint’s only hope to retain, or at least partially regain, their formerly successful days as a Top 3 US wireless carrier is to concentrate on becoming the premier wireless broadband provider. That means Sprint will have to focus on the data side of their operations – as I mentioned a while back.
So, in a move that should help the ailing wireless operator turn over a new data-centric leaf, Sprint has announced plans to switch to an all IP-based network, according to InfoWorld. Sprint would be the first carrier to use a network entirely based on the same structure as the internet – unifying their CDMA, iDEN, and future WiMAX networks under a single IP-based structure.
Ben Vos, vice president of core technologies at Sprint, said that the move to IP structure is required to ensure that a consistent data-experience is delivered to every subscriber – regardless of whether the data is access from a smartphone, dumbphone, PDA, or notebook. “You need to have a unified service architecture at the heart of the network that is agnostic of those underlying technologies at the edge,” said Vos.
As Sprint moves towards becoming a data provider, it will become increasingly important to make sure that devices across all networks can communicate reliably and that software can work in a consistent manner across all networks. An all IP-based network allows developers to write applications that can be deployed on multiple networks no need for changes to the code. In comparison, Verizon uses some IP-based technology, but the use of legacy technology limits Verizon’s network flexibility.
In other news, Sprint says that it is on-track to go live with its national WiMAX/XOHM network soon. The recent soft-launch of the commercial XOHM network in select US cities was a success. But, Sprint will wait until after it publishes its Q1 financial report to comment on which markets Sprint will initially expand their WiMAX service.