Sprint also working with Altice to use cable plant for small cell deployments

As Sprint continues efforts to use small cell deployments to densify its network, the role of partnering with cable companies was again highlighted this week as the carrier announced it would work with Cox to use the MSOs cable plant to add small cells to its mobile network. Sprint is also working with cable provider Altice in a similar arrangement.

The results of a settlement related to patent litigation, Sprint will use the Cox broadband network “to accelerate the densification of the Sprint network while simultaneously increasing efficiency of its macro backhaul and small cell deployment,” according to a statement from the carrier.

“This is another opportunity to work with a strategic partner to accelerate our densification plans to improve our network performance and experience for Sprint customers throughout Cox’s national territory,” Sprint’s Chief Technology Officer John Saw said. “Moving forward, we will continue to look for new opportunities to work with Cox in ways that are mutually beneficial.”

In November, former Sprint CFO Tarek Robbiati explained that the arrangement with Altice, which allows Sprint to access that cable company’s network in exchange for allowing Altice to launch an MVNO on top of Sprint spectrum, “is key to the 5G future” and called the deal “really important considering where the industry stands today in terms of its densification attempts.”

He said Sprint will use Altice USA’s service footprint, which covers 4.9 million consumer and enterprise subscribers in 21 states, to deploy “thousands of small cells. The infrastructure swap is what makes this deal the first of its kind. It’s really important that we invest in our network but also that that investment is really geared toward densifying our footprint.”

In response to questions from RCR Wireless News, a Sprint spokesperson said, “On the Cox partnership, planning is already underway to begin execution this quarter and continue to rollout over time. Regarding the Altice arrangement, I do not have any details to offer on specific deployments.”



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