Whatever the outcome of its attempt to merge with T-Mobile, Sprint seems confident that it will continue to offer wireline services for business customers under its own brand name. This week at the Consumer Electronics Show, Sprint unveiled a new network design model meant to unite its entire business solution portfolio.
Dubbed Certainty, the new network design prioritizes reliability, promising "service level agreements that no other provider can beat," simplified management of wide area networks, and the ability to combine wireline, wireless, broadband, microwave and satellite as a single-sourced, turnkey solution.
"Enterprises trust Sprint Business because of our ability to connect, manage and secure their people, places and things through just one point of contact," said Mike Fitz, vice president of Sprint’s global wireline business, in a prepared statement. To that end, Sprint is combining its Certainty network design with two other new offerings: Capability, which refers to secure orchestration, and Curiosity, which is its internet of things solution. The company offered little detail on Capability, but said the Curiosity IoT offering combines the first dedicated, distributed and virtualized IoT core with Curiosity OS, an integrated IoT operating system.
The goal of the Certainty launch seems to be keeping pace with the way people now use business wireline networks. Sprint wants to create new networks for customers that will be as reliable at satellite locations as they are at headquarters and that will be able to adapt quickly to changes in workflows. Sprint realizes that artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data are changing the way companies want to use their wireline networks.
Sprint used the example of the nation's 16th-largest staffing firm to outline how customers are using its business wireline capabilities. The company determined that MPLS was no longer the right solution for them, and Sprint deployed SD-WAN to provide internet access across a large geographic area, with broadband circuits to cut costs. Sprint said that on average, SD-WAN requires 50% less IT staff time and 95% less troubleshooting time compared to MPLS.
Overall, Sprint's wireline business remains a small part of the company's financial picture. Wireline service revenues were 5% of total service revenues in the most recent reporting period. But of course Sprint offers both wireline and wireless services to its business customers, and a reliable wireline backbone can be a selling point for a company that may end up working with one provider for all its network needs.