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LEAP wants in with Sprints LTE Network

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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 7 January 2012


What do you guy's think? Sprint so far has a finite amount of spectrum in the 1900 band which will be at capacity IMO several years after NV is complete. Without the tie-in with Clear, I see that this could be problematic and we could soon be suffering data issues we are today. Is this a good idea? At least with Clear & LSQ, they brought their spectrum with them.


Leap Mulls LTE Tie-Up with Sprint



Leap Wireless International is "very willing" to consider extending its current wholesale deal with Sprint for 3G service to LTE, CEO Doug Hutcheson said at the Citi investor conference in San Francisco on Thursday.

"We're very willing to look at that - we don't see a single strategy of only doing it ourselves," Hutcheson said in response to a question about whether Leap would consider expanding its LTE footprint through an MVNO deal with Sprint similar to its current arrangement with the operator.

Leap resells Sprint's 3G service under its Cricket prepaid brand in areas outside its own network.

Though Hutcheson was only speaking in hypotheticals, a wholesale deal with Sprint could save Leap the considerable expense of buying spectrum and equipment to construct its own LTE network.

Leap launched its first LTE market in Tucson last month and has plans to cover 25 million people with the service by the end of 2012 but doesn't have current plans to construct a nationwide network.

Sprint declined to comment on Hutcheson's comments and has not said previously whether it would consider offering LTE on a wholesale basis to outside parties, but it has historically been friendly to MVNO arrangements on its 3G network.

Sprint announced in October it would phase out its use of Clearwire's WiMAX service in favor of its own LTE network, which is under construction and set to launch around the middle of this year.

If Leap is able to secure the spectrum it needs to expand its LTE network, it may be able to hire Sprint to host the service on its equipment, a capability baked in to Sprint's network modernization project.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse hinted during a later interview at the same investor conference Thursday that he wasn't ruling out new spectrum hosting deals.

"It's more economical for anybody... to work in a network hosting environment versus greenfield," Hesse said. "We clearly have a unique ability to host other spectrum."

LightSquared hired Sprint last summer to host its 1.6 GHz spectrum, but the companies have put construction of the plan on hold as LightSquared works to resolve GPS interference issues that have held up the launch of its network.

Leap's current MVNO deal with Sprint was part of a plan that began in August 2010 to expand its prepaid business with a music service, later dubbed Muve Music, offer nationwide roaming beyond its limited regional network, expand its smartphone lineup and start selling all-you-can-eat broadband plans. Its expansion into mobile broadband was later curtailed to free up space on its network for more lucrative smartphone customers.

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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 7 January 2012



This is a great find. Kudos! I missed this article yesterday. Thanks for the link. I may re-post as a story...


My thoughts are...I actually think this is a good idea. Since Leap doesn't sell service outside to customers outside of it's coverage area, pretty much their customers will only be using Sprint LTE when outside of the Leap/Cricket network. I don't think it will be a significant burden at all. Mostly in rural and tertiary markets where Leap/Cricket doesn't have service and Sprint will have spare capacity.


Also, in the latest agreement with Clearwire in early December, Sprint received the ability to wholesale Clearwire's LTE network. So, I would guess that if Sprint worked out a deal with Leap, it would include MVNO services on Sprint 4G LTE and Clearwires. This would also help in alleviating congestion on Sprint's LTE.


Sprint counts on Leap's money that it receives in MVNO fees for 3G. So they are kind of in a catch 22. Even if they wanted to be protectionist with their 4G LTE network, they don't want to lose the revenue from Leap. So including them along for the ride is probably more important in the long run. It will just probably cause Clearwire spectrum to be integrated earlier on more towers.

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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 9 January 2012


Here's an editorial that makes a good companion piece. This article explains why LEAP may approach Clear to satisfy its LTE needs and how Clear is in a position to exploit it.



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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 9 January 2012



I read that article this morning. I specifically remembered thinking of this thread as I read it. :)

Also, thanks for all your inputs here on the site and in the forum. I only sent the private message requesting to join our site to a few select people. I'm definitely glad you were on that list. Good job!

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