by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 3:35 PM MST
I know some of you who live in Sprint affiliate coverage areas are concerned about Network Vision deployments and whether they’ll ever make it to your area. And rightfully so, since too many affiliate areas are still covered with 1xRTT networks, having never even been upgraded to 3G EVDO. This has created some concern among Sprint affiliate customers because there has been zero news to date about how, when or even if affiliates will get Network Vision upgrades. Well, I have some good news.
I can now confirm that at least the Sprint affiliate Shentel is working on a Network Vision upgrade plan for next year. Shentel (Shenandoah Telephone) released in their 3Q-2011 statements that they are gearing up their funding of approximately $120 Million to upgrade their towers to the Network Vision standards in 2012.
Shentel has a largely rural footprint in Virginia, West Virginia, Western Maryland and South Central Pennsylvania. And given that Shentel is doing their upgrades mostly in 2012, these areas will likely receive the benefits of NV as well as LTE rollout much farther in advance than most other rural Sprint customers in the country.
If you are in a non-Shentel affiliate area, don’t lose hope. I take this as a hopeful sign that Sprint is actively working with affiliates to bring Network Vision to be network wide. Some have feared that Sprint will ignore the affiliate areas and just let them come around whenever they want, if ever. But it’s probably more likely that affiliate rural customers will see Network Vision and LTE sooner than Sprint’s own rural customers. Which are likely to be the very last customers to get LTE…at the end of 2013 or early 2014.