Sprint Sees the SDR Light

By Dean ~ September 4th, 2011. Filed under: SDR & SCA.

The story in Connected Planet is a bit sparse on details, but it reports that, as a result of Sprint‘s “Network Vision overhaul,” the carrier will be seeing:

… all of its old CDMA gear replaced with new software-defined radio (SDR) capable of hosting any network technology.

This is another gentle reminder that SDR is for everyone, not only the military and first responders (although, in reviewing my recent posts, I can see why one might draw the opposite conclusion).  Here’s the blurb from the Sprint PR material:

With Network Vision, Sprint will make substantial changes to the cell sites that power its wireless network. The top image shows Sprint’s existing base stations, which require single, refrigerator-sized cabinets for each technology. Large black coaxial cables must run from each cabinet to the top of the cell tower, which has an inherent loss of signal. The Network Vision multi-mode base station will require less space. Other advantages will include the ability for Sprint to use spectrum bands on multiple technologies, replacing coaxial cables with fiber that is not affected by signal loss and improved remote radio heads that replace existing less efficient radios.

The implementation of multi-mode technology throughout the Sprint network will:

  • Enhance service
  • Create network flexibility
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Improve environmental sustainability

Those sound like textbook SDR benefits to me!

Image of Sprint base station installation using today's technology

Individual Sprint 3G and 4G Base Stations, Today
Image credit: Sprint

… and, thanks to SDR …

Image of a Sprint base station installation that leverages SDR

Sprints "Network Vision" Multi-mode Base Station Leverages SDR
Image credit: Sprint

Also, it seems that Sprint may finally be making the move to shed the archaic iDEN network that it picked up when it acquired Nextel.  The fact that they highlighted “No immediate plans to force migrate iDEN customers…” in their published “Plan for Push-to-Talk” (PDF) speaks volumes.

1 Response to Sprint Sees the SDR Light

  1. Sprint Sees the SDR Light — Performance Engineering | Ham Radio Blog

    […] for everyone, not only the military and first responders (although … See the rest here: Sprint Sees the SDR Light — Performance Engineering This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged another-gentle, cdma, gear-replaced, gentle, […]