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Sprint CEO Discusses Company’s Five-Year Plan

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia event on Sept. 17, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said the carrier has a ‘competitive advantage’ in network deployment strategy.

Two years into a five-year plan designed to return Sprint to profitability and vastly improve its network performance, CEO Marcelo Claure “has a very clear path” forward.

In an interview during the 25th Goldman Sachs Communacopia event, Claure discussed a range of topics that included ongoing cost-cutting plans, which have taken $3.5 billion in cost out of the operation since 2015, as well as how Sprint’s network deployment strategy and spectrum portfolio set it apart from competitors.

Sprint CEO“We’re getting back to growth,” he said. “I think we made really meaningful improvements in our network, which is our product, the most important piece. We’re doing it.”

Speaking of the comparative quality of Sprint’s network, Claure said, “Verizon’s marketing is gone. We’re all within fighting distance.” He attributed the network performance improvements to densification, which he pegged as a major predicate for ‘5G.’

“Suddenly, this strategy we started close to a year, year-and-a-half ago, now everyone is chasing. Why? Because it’s faster and it’s cheaper,” he said.

Without giving away too many details, Claure said Sprint has used a mix of wireless and fiber backhaul to deploy “tens of thousands” of small cells, largely on public utility poles. “You’re going to see your network get progressively better every single time we put another small cell in a city.” By the end of 2017, early 2018, “I want to see Sprint’s network be No. 1 or 2.”

In addition to small cells, Sprint also has added macro cells and femto cells, “a combination of different structures,” he said.

“It is not only small cells, there’s macro cell, there’s small cell, there’s femto cell, it’s a combination of different structures.” As to site acquisition, Claure said, “We filed a lot [of applications and permits]and we’re getting a lot of approvals. It’s not that we don’t want to disclose what our network plan is. We believe we have a competitive advantage in how we’re deploying our network. It’s very different from the way our competitors deploy networks. We’ve proven you don’t need to spend a crazy amount – billions of dollars – to build an amazing network. We’re being real smart on how we deploy our network.”

Source: RCR Wireless