Sprint is holding an event to outline its plans for the future, as the company looks to reassure investors and customers that it will continue to be a major player in the wireless market.
The Overland Park, Kan.-based carrier will hold its “Strategy Update” event on October 7. Sprint did not reveal what exactly it will discuss at the meeting, but it’s likely the carrier is looking to gather some momentum as it heads into holiday season and the Federal Communication Commission’s decision on the AT&T/T-Mobile merger approaches.
Sprint’s event may bring a cluster of announcements rather than a single big one. For example, the carrier may reveal its 4G network plans going forward. Sprint jumped to an early lead in the 4G battle with its WiMAX service, but many analysts believe the provider will have to transition to an LTE network to compete with Verizon and AT&T.
Sprint came to an agreement with LightSquared last month that would enable the carrier to buy half of the company’s LTE network. But the FCC expressed concerns LightSquared’s network could affect aviation GPS systems, throwing a wrench into Sprint’s plans. It’s possible the carrier may address these issues and reveal more details on its intentions with LightSquared at the event.
However, Sprint’s 4G plans aren’t the only thing it may announce during the company’s strategy update. The Wall Street Journal last week reported the carrier may begin offering the iPhone 5 when it releases this fall. Sprint would not confirm the report, but it may be waiting for a future event such as this one to do so.
Carrying the iPhone 5 would likely be a tremendous boost for a company that still struggles to lure customers away from wireless giants Verizon and AT&T. If Sprint announced the iPhone as part of its long-term plans, it would give customers another mobile alternative on a network that offers primarily Android-based devices.
No matter what Sprint unveils on October 7, the carrier can’t afford to disappoint customers and investors. The AT&T/T-Mobile merger is threatening to put Sprint in a distant third place in the U.S. wireless market, and the carrier needs to show it has a solid game plan in place to compete.