Drako's Wireless Review
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Posts : 30
Join date : 2019-11-19
Age : 37
Location : Seattle, WA, USA

The downward spiral of Sprint's Network Empty The downward spiral of Sprint's Network

Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:58 pm
Now that the Sprint brand is more or less foreshadowed by T-Mobile, we felt the need to post something regarding Sprint's network.

The reason Sprint became such a household name within the wireless industry is rather simple.
While Sprint used to claim they were the only all digitial, all PCS carrier built from the ground up, there was one detail Sprint never made all too public in their ads.

Sprint was able to have a rather rapid network roll out due to their Affiliate Companies and the Sprint Rural Alliance.

At one point in time, due to both programs, Sprint actually did have the largest digital network nationwide.
This was very early in the game, and was rather short lived though.

All this, of course was before Sprint's biggest mis-steps, including, but not limited to the "merger of equals" with Nextel.

This merger did lead to some contentious feelings between Sprint and many of their Affiliate networks.

The programs allowed Sprint to expand its network using partner companies in various regions of the US, while allowing these companies to offer wireless services to their customers under the Sprint banner (while using the Sprint brand or their own). This meant these regional carriers already gained national "roaming" while all of them using Sprint spectrum.

Some SRA and Affiliates included:
Swiftel Communications in Brookings, South Dakota
Shentel in northern Virginia, and parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia
Alaska DigiTel in Alaska
Alltel Wireless in Montana
Pioneer Cellular in Kansas and Oklahoma
nTelos; operated in West Virginia

Only Alaska Digitel, Swiftel, and Shentel are still current partners with Sprint, now T-Mobile.
T-Mobile is already in talks to buy the wireless segment of Shentel.

Sprint lost Alltel during Alltel's merger with AT&T, that portion of Alltel's network being divested to Verizon.
Sprint lost Pioneer Cellular when Pioneer decided that the merger with Nextel was a violation of some agreement and ended their contract with Sprint, moving to an agreement with Verizon though the LTE in Rural America program.
Sprint did not lose nTelos, nTelos was merged with Shentel, which is one of the last remaining Sprint affiliates.

With each affiliate lost, Sprint lost coverage in those areas as well, which is how the coverage map began to show a decline in coverage in areas where Sprint used to be strong.

Drako Swiftclaw
Founder of Drako's Wireless Review

Also founder of Drako's Den and Playground
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