Sprint Uses 5G Network Preparations to Overhaul Its IoT Business

Sue Marek | May 31, 2018

Sprint Uses 5G Network Preparations to Overhaul Its IoT Business
Sprint is in the midst of revamping its IoT business. The company is taking advantage of its current 5G networkoverhaul to deploy a nationwide LTE-M network that it plans to have complete by year-end. In addition, it’s architecting a virtualized core network and building a distributed edge network that will help it handle the millions of IoT devices that could ride on its network. The majority of Sprint’s IoT customers use the company’s CDMA 3G network, which is challenging because there aren’t a lot of module companies willing to make CDMA modules for Sprint’s 1900 MHz and 800 MHz spectrum bands. Earlier this year Sprint announced that it was increasing its capex budget to build a nationwide 5G network that it will launch in the first half of 2019 using the company’s 2.5 GHz spectrum. In an interview with Ricky Singh, chief of products and solutions, IoT at Sprint, he said that because the company is touching its towers to prepare for 5G, it is also adding LTE-M. “We were able to capture the synergies of some of the other things that are going on at Sprint,” he said. A big factor behind Sprint’s renewed IoT push is the leadership of Ivo Rook, who joined Sprint as  SVP of IoT in December. Rook is also a strategic advisor to Sprint and its parent company SoftBank. Rook spent seven years at Vodafonewhere he most recently was CEO of Vodafone’s IoT business. Vodafone’s IoT group generates $1 billion in revenue and connects more than 50 million devices.

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