US mobile giant Sprint Corp has issued a press statement distancing itself from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) upcoming 600MHz ‘Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction’, which is scheduled to begin on 29 March 2016. In the media release CEO Marcelo Claure commented: ‘Sprint’s focus and overarching imperative must be on improving its network and market position in the immediate term so we can remain a powerful force in fostering competition, consumer benefits and innovation in the wireless broadband world. Sprint has the spectrum it needs to deploy its network architecture of the future’.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Sprint also sat out Auction 97, the FCC’s tender for AWS-3 spectrum, which concluded on 29 January 2015. In spite of its lack of participation, the cellco is still in a strong spectrum position, having re-farmed 800MHz iDEN spectrum and 2500MHz WiMAX spectrum for 4G use in recent years. The legacy iDEN network was shut down on 30 June 2013, while the former Clearwire WiMAX network will be fully decommissioned from 6 November 2015. Sprint has started a major network overhaul which will see it boost coverage and capacity by densifying its network and increasing the number of cell sites utilising its existing spectrum.