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Summary

Ovum attended Sprint Business' analyst conference in June 2019 and heard updates on Sprint Business initiatives and investments. At MWC Americas 2018, Sprint Business shared several of their key plans for 2019 and announced a strategic partnership with Ericsson. In its 2019 update at the recent summit, Sprint shared the progress of its initiatives and demonstrated results for some of its many promises.

Progress with Curiosity IoT, increased staffing, and partnerships

Sprint Business needed to make some heavy investments on multiple fronts to get back in the US game and 2018 was the year of serious planning. This year, however, is the year of execution: seeing the plans and results from the investment – led by the new leadership team– come to fruition. Among the many signs of progress was the new, innovative Curiosity IoT platform and the associated programs, which counted some huge customer wins. Although not wholly complete, the Curiosity IoT platform has attracted attention from customers and unique partnerships that should place Sprint back in the US IoT game and eventually raise the company's profile in IoT overall. This new distributed IoT platform provides unique flexibility and options for customers that will bode well for future business and eventually, deployment of 5G. The IoT Factory which was introduced last year has shown modest success in the SMB segment but also provided valuable market information on IoT demand and generated leads for larger opportunities.

Sprint Business reported increased staffing as well as investment in its brand over the last year. There have been announcements, customer wins, awards, and new service releases, including its deployment plans for 5G – specifically "mobile" 5G. Sprint shared news on its Smart City partnerships and its creative IoT partnerships, which demonstrated the progress that had been promised last year. It should also be noted that the many potential partnerships with Softbank assets were more pronounced with real services in multiple portfolios now available, whereas last year these were all vague intentions.

Overall, given the major distraction of the long-awaited potential merger with T-Mobile US, Sprint Business has made good progress on its plans from last year and really have gotten in the game on various enterprise fronts. Sprint may never reach the scale of the two larger US mobile operators, but they are closing the gap and, assuming the T-Mobile merger is approved, the new merged entity will be ready to take on the others.

Appendix

Further reading

5G in the US, GLB004-000037 (May 2019)

"Sprint aims to achieve IoT connection growth through SMEs," IOT004-000011 (July 2019)

Author

Mike Sapien, Chief Analyst, Enterprise Services

mike.sapien@ovum.com

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