Sprint COO, Before Stepping Down, on Outlook for 2018

November 20, 2017

Sprint’s COO of Technology Guenther Ottendorfer, who announced hours after taping an interview with Cheddar Friday that he is stepping down from his post, discussed what the telecommunications company has in store for the year ahead.

Ottendorfer said that in 2018 Sprint is looking to add new sites to its network and will spend $5 to $6 billion in the next year. He added the company is prioritizing massive MIMO, a multi-antenna technology, and plans to expand its High Performance User Equipment (HPUE) program, which was unveiled in late 2016.

“That will help us, in a world of growing data, to fulfill our customer demands,” Ottendorfer said.

In a statement he said that HPUE can expand its 2.5 GHz coverage by up to 30 percent, including indoors.

These investments come after Sprint recently called off a merger with rival carrier T-Mobile. The companies have been in talks on and off since 2013.

The wireless telecommunication market in the United States was worth an estimated $256 billion in 2016, according to Statista. Currently, the industry is dominated by both AT&T and Verizon, the same report noted. A merger of the #3 and #4 players in the industry would have still lagged behind the giants.

Still, analysts consider that as consumers prefer unlimited data, both Sprint and T-Mobile are poised to chip away the AT&T and Verizon’s market share dominance.

In the tweet Friday, Ottendorfer said he was leaving the company to be with family in Vienna.

“I have been working here with full energy [and] passion [and] I am proud of all we have accomplished and [I’m] excited for what Sprint will do next!” he said in the tweet, adding that the “network is in excellent hands [with] my friend Dr. John Saw,” Ottendorfer said.

He’d been with Sprint since 2015.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

MALE_1: The next year very clear. Number one priority is an accelerated roll out of network upgrades and uh, new sites to our network. And uh, we have been vocal that we will increase our CapEx budget to five to six billion over the next financial years, and that will help us to do our identification strategy and to bring coverage to new places. So that is the biggest priority for us. Second big priority is massive MIMO. Massive MIMO is a technology that allows us to have smart antenna technology that brings more capacity to our sectors. It's a capacity increase by five to ten, uh, factor five to ten. So that will help us, in the world of growing data, to fulfill our customer demand. [NOISE] And, this technology works in the high-band, and the high-band is where Sprint really has a lot of spectrum. So we have on average more than two hundred megahertz of spectrum in the top hundred markets in the U.S, and hundredand sixty of that is high-band spectrum that we will develop with massive MIMO as a technology.

FEMALE_1: And then you also have something that you rolled out last year called High Performance electronic equipment, HPUE. Tell us a little bit about that. [NOISE]

MALE_1: Absolutely. That's the search part of our priorities for the next year. HPUE, High Performance User Equipment, is a technology that allows our two dot five spectrum to have the same characteristics nearly as our one dot nine spectrum. And we have standardized that in December two thousand and sixteen, and we're very proud on the fact that we