Sprint makes outrageous claim – does it matter?

Some are calling it a bold prediction. Others are calling it outright ridiculous. Read this and you decide. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure recently said, by 2017, his network will be better than Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. Without irony or a hint of sarcasm, the top man at the number three (with a bullet) mobile provider told CNN, “We will have the best network in the next two years.”

Apparently, Sprint is on the clock, and the big cheese has a plan. A plan that must have improved in the past few months. Back in May, Claure shocked the tech world by declaring that, by 2017, Sprint would be “among the top two” in overall network performance. That statement got eyebrows raising and heads shaking. Now he has doubled down and raised the stakes.

RootMetrics may not be buying it. The industry watchdog group measured the top four carriers’ speed in 125 metro areas. At the time, Sprint’s fastest median speed was the slowest of the four in many places, and about half of what Verizon clocked in at. Worse, Sprint was only tied for best overall network performance in seven areas and fastest outright in only one. You don’t get pole position with numbers like those.

But Sprint says it’s not looking back… and believe it or not, industry insiders believe they may just pull off the impossible. According to reports, Sprint has more spectrum than any direct competitors. Spectrum is the airwaves over which cell phone data travels. Sounds good, right? Not so fast. Sure, it has a lot more property, so to speak, but hardly in the best part of town.

The lower the bandwidth, the easier it is for airwaves to do all the things cell customers need them to do – travel long distances, go through buildings, etc. Most of Sprint’s spectrum is in the higher range. Sure they have a lot, but there’s a reason you have to go outside your apartment to “hear me now.”

In Monopoly terms, Sprint has houses on an entire side of the board … but it’s side with purples and light blues. AT&T is sitting pretty on Atlantic and Marvin Gardens while Verizon has hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place. They have the spectrum where people want to be.

Ronn Torossian is a New York City based PR executive and CEO of 5WPR. 5W PR is headquartered in NYC, with offices in Los Angeles and Denver.