In this interview taped by Converged Digest at 4G World in Chicago, Sprint’s VP of Network Development and Engineering, Iyad Tarazi, discusses the move to LTE and the newly announced agreement with Clearwire.
Sprint and Clearwire will work together to incorporate LTE-Advanced on the 2.6 GHz band, using Time Division multiplex. On Sprint’s 1.9 GHz and 850 MHz band, Sprint will use paired Frequency Division channels. New chips by Qualcomm and others will presumably be used in devices to allow roaming between the different carriers and modulation types.
Key points covered:
- LTE Rollout Phase 1 — the LTE rollout is underway with the Network Vision program, which will touch every cell site over the next 2 years. This phase of the rollout will use the 1900 MHz spectrum and extend to 270 million POPs.
- LTE Rollout Phase 2 — expected in Q2 2013 will leverage features of Release 10. This phase of the rollout could also add the 800 MHz spectrum from the iDen network, as well as the 1.6 GHz spectrum from LightSquared.
- The Clearwire Partnership — The companies are in tentative agreement that the future is LTE and will work together to make FD-LTE and TD-LTE operate in a seamless network. T
- Small Cells — the HetNet architecture will be critical because mobile broadband traffic is increasingly an in-door experience. Hotspots can be very effective in addressing the indoor mobile broadband trend.
- VoLTE — VoIP over LTE is likely at Sprint in the first half of 2013 to a subset of LTE handsets. There are likely to be multiple ways of supporting voice streams.