Gerson Lehrman Group, an international research firm issued a press release today about “Project Leapfrog”, the codename for Sprint’s push to upgrade it’s existing network. Leapfrog encompasses the sunset of iDEN and the introduction of LTE.
GLG speculates that Sprint’s three-year project will leave them with a nation-wide LTE network while simultaneously reducing operating costs. The project will involve removing existing iDEN antennas and replacing a reported 20,000 base stations. With the addition of multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) antennas combined with new base transceiver stations (BTS), this leaves Sprint’s options open to establish deals with other entities to host multiple carriers from each BTS. Rumors are circulating that talks are already underway with T-Mobile regarding these deals.
As the project is rumored to last three years, there is plenty of time for Sprint to engage in talks to gain new partners in it’s endeavor. With Sprint’s CTIA event around the corner, perhaps we will hear some more information soon.