An unconfirmed report says Sprint Corp. has “finalized plans for a radial overhaul” of its network aimed at saving $1 billion.
The website Re/code did not cite its sources and at least one analyst said such a change would be potentially disruptive to service.
“Sprint’s plan is not for the faint of heart,” Jennifer Fritzsche of Wells Fargo Securities wrote in a note to clients. “Sprint needs to be solely focused on avoiding mistakes of the past, where network overhauls caused major disruptions in the network’s performance.”
A Sprint spokeswoman said the company had no comment. Re/code said in its article that the company had declined to comment on its network plans.
The article said Sprint plans to move its network radio equipment from cellular towers it leases from other companies to “government-owned properties” that are much less expensive.
Changes could begin in June or July, it said.
Another part of the cost savings plan would reduce Sprint’s reliance on the telephone lines belonging to Verizon and AT&T.
Wireless phone calls, while traveling over the air from a phone to a cell tower, typically move longer distances over regular phone lines, and Sprint often pays Verizon and AT&T for that ride.
Sprint has talked about reducing its use of other carriers’ systems for “backhaul” but it has not discussed publicly any plans to abandon tower leases.
Fritzsche said the tower lease issue needs more explanation.
“We need to hear more details here because we would quickly point out that Sprint still has multi-year contracts in place with each of these tower companies,” she wrote.
Sprint shares fell 32 cents to close Friday at $2.87.