Sprint 3Q13 Earnings Call Notes

This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings.

“This marks our first quarter of operations after closing our transformative transactions with both, SoftBank and with Clearwire.”

“We continued our steady pace through the third quarter and now have over 26,000 sites on air with over 35,000 sites or more than 90% of Sprint sites completed or under construction. We launched 4G LTE in 130 markets and continue to target approximately 200 million LTE POPs by the end of the year and expect to complete our 1.9 gigahertz network modernization by mid-next year.”

“Our plan is to build a multi-band LTE network that includes our 1.9 gigahertz overlaid by 800 megahertz and 2.5 gigahertz to provide greater coverage, speed and capacity. We expect to use a capital efficient mix of various bands based on factors such as geography and capital needs, the capacity needs.”

“We continue to free up our low band 800 megahertz following the Nextel shutdown and expect this to improve the performance and coverage of our network. We began deployment of voice services on the 800 megahertz band in the first quarter and now have sites on air at approximately nearly two-thirds of our markets. Also, more than 40% of our postpaid base has 800 megahertz voice capable devices. Furthermore, we are starting to turn up the 800 megahertz LTE radios on our sites this quarter in multiple markets where we have spectrum re-banding complete”

“The third layer to the network will be the high band 2.5 gigahertz spectrum that we acquired in the Clearwire transaction which improves speed and capacity. As we have said previously, we expect to complete the 5,000 LTE sites the Clearwire had under construction this year. As we move into next year, we will continue to expand the rollout of 2.5 gigahertz on selected sites across our existing network.”

“In July of this year, we introduced tri-band data devices and plan to launch handsets before the holidays. We expect that going forward all of our postpaid smartphone launches will be tri-band supporting active hand outs across all bands and ensuring data session continuity. While we remain focused on completing the core Sprint network modernization, we are excited about the enhanced capabilities that our multi-band network will provide.”

“We clearly have a strong spectrum position now with 120 megahertz of Clearwire spectrum in 90% of the top 100 markets, plus our 1.9 plus 800. We will look at the spectrum auctions as spectrum becomes available. One of the things that was so important about this architecture. It is that we could add additional bands of spectrum, so we saw that. We could also potentially partner with other owners of spectrum in creative ways and deploy that on our network for additional capacity or other capability, so I used the analogy of the three little pigs network and the complexity associated with kind of ripping up and replacing the entire network to give us that flexibility going forward. But it does give us that, so we have a lot of options and we will consider them.”

“We currently have a total of about 55,000 cell sites. This gets back to the earlier question as well. And you should expect that number of macro sites, I am talking macro only because Steve talked about the potential addition of smaller cells to remain relatively flat for the next few years, we are deploying LTE aggressively on the 1.9 spectrum and we expect to be, as Steve indicated in his comments, to have about 200 million POPs finished by the end of the year.”

“our marketing plan from a messaging perspective right now is really three-fold… One is, on one up and the $65 price point, which we think is a compelling price point …two, unlimited for life…Third… in markets where our customers have experienced some significant network issues in the last year is once we have got gotten to roughly let’s say 70% completion on Network Vision to go tell those customers that the network has improved and to have them try it and have new customers try it”

“In the 1.9 on LTE, as we have said, we are seeing consistently about 6 to 8 megabits per second. And on 2.5 where it’s deployed currently from the original Clearwire build, we are seeing in upwards to 40 and 50 megabits peak speeds right now. 50 to 60, I am sorry. 50 to 60 megabits peak speeds in those cities where it’s been built.”

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