by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 7:30 AM MDT
The next market in our Network Vision/LTE deployment schedule update series is...Minnesota. The Minnesota market has yet to be announced by Sprint, and may not be announced until as late as this Fall.
The Sprint Minnesota market encompasses most of Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. This includes the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul and suburbs), Duluth/Superior, Rochester, St. Cloud, Mankato, Brainerd, Bemidji, Winona, Eau Claire and La Crosse. Sprint's Network Vision OEM Samsung is scheduled to begin mobilizing their subcontractors around the market in late August. The first completed Network Vision sites are scheduled to start coming online in September.
Anticipated Sites Complete at Market Launch. According to the Network Vision schedules that S4GRU has reviewed, if Sprint launched the market in April, 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.
Schedule details and the bottom line
Sprint has not yet selected a date to formally "launch" LTE service in Minnesota. 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 April 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 65 sites per month to stay on schedule. This is a big chunk to complete monthly, but is doable with the appropriate amount of resources allocated.
S4GRU has examined the schedule in great detail in this market and sees that most of the sites will be complete by September 2013. However, there may be a few sporadic sites that will linger past the completion.
Photo of Downtown Minneapolis provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.