Sprint To Slim Down Their Towers, Jam Three Technologies Into One Big Box

Tired of having to stare at three refrigerator-sized metal boxes whenever you look at one of Sprint’s cellular base stations? Oh, you’ve never seen one? That’s okay. Neither have we. But if we ever do, at least we’ll know that it’s a lot prettier now: Sprint’s taking those three big ol’ boxes (which contain the radio equipment for their their 800 Mhz, 1.9 Ghz, and 2.5 Ghz [WiMax] networks) and slimming things down, replacing the whole shebang with just one box.

So, what does this mean for you?

Not a whole lot, at least not directly — unless, as mentioned, you’re somewhere where you’re regularly staring at a Sprint cell station installation. Theoretically it could improve the network signal overall, as they’re doing stuff like replacing the crummy old lossy coax cable with shiny new fiber optic cable, and replacing all the radio heads with newer versions.

It means some good stuff for Sprint, though; while it’ll set them back around $4 billion dollars up front, they’re estimating that these overhauls will save them $10 and $11 billion over 7 years in reduced energy costs, reduced maintenance costs, and lower roaming expenses. Savings for the carrier means savings for you, right? Maybe? … hopefully?