By Jennifer LeClaire / CIO Today. Updated June 24, 2014.
The nation's third-largest carrier, Sprint, is making wireless consumers an offer it hopes they can’t refuse -- a risk-free, 30-day trial with satisfaction guaranteed. The guarantee comes against the backdrop of Sprint’s nationwide HD (high-definition) voice rollout, the addition of 28 new 4G LTE markets, and three new Sprint Spark markets.
The HD voice service from Sprint promises a fuller, more natural-sounding voice combined with noise-cancelling technology that works to eliminate background noise. Sprint Spark is an enhanced LTE service built for data that delivers average wireless speeds of 6-15Mbps and peak wireless speeds of 50-60Mbps.
“We believe customers will be delighted with the Sprint retail experience, our customer service, and the performance of America’s newest network, so we’re guaranteeing it,” said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse.
Covering All the Bases
Tapping into HD voice requires compatible mobile devices -- and Sprint has that covered. The company supports 28 HD voice-capable postpaid smartphones and 33 prepaid phones. The carrier estimates about 16 million customers are already using an HD Voice-enabled device.
Sprint completed a rip-and-replace overhaul of its 3G network and deployed LTE in 471 markets to deliver faster data speeds and improved call quality, with the specific promise of fewer dropped and blocked calls. The company also rolled out the Sprint Framily Wall, and amped up its fitness focus via partnerships with Under Armour, MapMyFitness and Samsung.
We caught up with Jeff Kagan, an independent technology industry analyst, to get his take on the rollouts. He told us these are important moves because Sprint competitors are starting to offer their own HD voice in selected markets.
“Wireless voice may have been good because it let us take our phones with us, but the quality was not as good as landlines,” he said. “HD voice is much better quality compared with regular wireless and getting closer to landline status. That is very important.”
But what’s turning heads is the satisfaction guarantee. According to the company, if customers aren’t 100 percent satisfied with the experience during the first 30 days, they will get refunds on the costs of their devices and all service and activation charges will be waived. The guarantee starts on June 27 and is available to new customers and current customer adding new lines of service.
Kagan said Sprint’s network rebuild must be going well because it is offering powerful guarantees: “It should entice many to give Sprint a try once again. It’s good to see Sprint beginning to strut their feathers once again. It’s been a while.”
And Sprint is not done yet. The company wrapped up its news by announcing international Wi-Fi calling will be available in the coming weeks so customers can make calls and send texts via Wi-Fi in over 100 countries.
Sprint will also soon deploy 8T8R (eight-transmit/eight-receive) radios to improve coverage and signal strength for Sprint Spark customers. The radios transmit more data and boost network reliability to offer customers better coverage and higher data speeds at 2.5GHz. Sprint expects to begin commercial deployment this summer.