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Sprint blames equipment vendors for Network Vision delays

Sprint Nextel has blamed delays by equipment vendors stifling the rollout of its Network Vision project

US operator Sprint Nextel has blamed delays caused by equipment vendors for stifling the rollout of its Network Vision project, in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. As a result, the operator said that it had been forced to revise its plans to bring 12,000 multi-mode base stations on-air by the end of 2012, pushing the deadline back to 1Q13.

Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and Samsung all supply equipment to Sprint as part of its Network Vision project.

“The deployment of multi-mode technology is project managed by Sprint but dependent upon three primary OEMs, each of which has responsibility for a geographical territory across the United States,” Sprint explained in the filing.

“We have recently experienced delays with vendor execution, backhaul connectivity delays, shortages in equipment such as fiber cable and antennas, as well as other regulatory and environmental issues.”

The operator added that the delays have caused an increase in depreciation to existing Nextel and Sprint assets.

Sprint said it expects to recover from the delays and is still forecasting to have the majority of its sites on-air by the end of 2013. Its Network Vision LTE network deployment is now expected to be completed by the middle of 2014.

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