2016 was pivotal for the Sprint network, closing the performance gap and delivering noticeable improvements for customers (and the competition).
The strategy in 2016 was squarely focused on leveraging our spectrum assets to improve our coverage and capacity. We dramatically expanded our 2.5 GHz and 800 MHz coverage, put extreme attention on optimizing every cell site, and we deployed advanced technology such as two and three-channel carrier aggregation with antenna beamforming in LTE Plus markets. In November we celebrated the one year anniversary of our super-fast LTE Plus Network which grew over the past 12 months from approximately 100 markets to now reach 250. This year we also shifted the majority of our LTE data traffic to 2.5 GHz.
The progress garnered a great deal of attention from independent 3rd parties too.
Innovation and Improvement in 2017
As we head into 2017, we have aggressive goals to keep innovating and improving our network. Our top priority is to ensure a great network experience by surgically adding more coverage and capacity where it’s needed. Three-channel carrier aggregation (3CA) is already available in more than 100 markets today and we’ll continue to expand our deployment. Just recently we demonstrated speeds of more than 200 Mbps with 3CA on the HTC Bolt (available today) and on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Apple iPhone 7 (both coming soon with 3CA software upgrades).
In the coming year we’ll keep making progress on our Densification and Optimization strategy. We’ll light up more small cells with a very cost-efficient model using dedicated spectrum and innovative backhaul solutions. We have built great momentum in 2016 and we are very encouraged to see that following our deployment of 200 small cells in Manhattan we saw median download speeds increase 43 percent and median upload speeds increase 56 percent.
Sprint is excited about our progress and is looking forward to a new year of innovation!
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