Network Vision to Merge 3G/4G towers As Sprint Drops iDEN

Posted by at 10:34 am on December 7, 2010

Sprint yesterday unveiled a major new plan to upgrade its network and simplify it at the same time. Nicknamed Network Vision, it will replace the separate sites for 3G and 4G with single, multi-mode sites that provide CDMA, EVDO and WiMAX from a single point. The switch should reduce the amount of extra cell sites Sprint needs to run but also improve coverage by letting it put 4G on existing points.

The upgrade will also have the upside of reducing Sprint’s costs by as much as $11 billion. While WiMAX is the focus, it will improve CDMA at the same time since previous WiMAX-only access points should get regular phone service and cut back on coverage gaps.

As part of the move, however, Sprint said it would eventually phase out its push-to-talk iDEN network. The instant call feature would reach the CDMA network next year and should eventually take over. iDEN will phase out starting from 2013.

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