by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Sunday, July 8, 2012 - 2:30 PM MDT
The next market in our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series is...West Michigan. The West Michigan market has yet to be announced by Sprint, and may not be announced until as late as this Fall.
The Sprint West Michigan market encompasses the Western and Central Portions of the Michigan Lower Peninsula, as well as a few isolated Upper Peninsula sites around St. Ignace, Mackinac Island and Sault Ste. Marie. This includes the cities of Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Wyoming, Battle Creek, Portage, Muskegon, Holland, Traverse City, Mount Pleasant, Benton Harbor, St. Joseph and Niles. Sprint's Network Vision OEM Samsung is scheduled to begin mobilizing their subcontractors around the market in September. The first completed Network Vision sites are scheduled to start coming online in October.
Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in March, these are the anticipated sites that would likely have LTE complete at that time. This would provide fairly good LTE coverage over many parts of the market. There likely will be more in the Grand Rapids Metro area than what is shown here.
Schedule details and the bottom line
Sprint has not yet selected a date to formally "launch" LTE service in West Michigan. It is difficult to try to pick a date now this far out, but we have attempted to do that. In looking at the schedule as of today, it would indicate a March market launch (going on a 40% - 50% completion for launch). But there is no way to know if Samsung and their subcontractors will actually hit their schedule dates before deployment in this market begins. We will be able to gauge better after a few months of production is achieved.
Samsung needs to hit a production rate of approximately 45 sites per month to stay on schedule. This market shouldn't have problems staying on time as this is a lower production rate than many markets.
S4GRU has examined the schedule in great detail in this market and sees that most of the sites will be complete by August 2013. However, there may be a few sporadic sites that will linger past the completion.
Photo of Downtown Lansing provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.