By Chris Velazco
The Verizon/Sprint 4G war has been shifting into high gear lately, and with Verizon’s LTE network capable of faster performance, Sprint (NYSE:S) has had to play up some of their other accomplishments to try and pick up some momentum. They certainly won’t be letting you forget that they 1) offer the first 4G wireless network from a national carrier, 2) have the most 4G devices, and 3) are apparently “America’s favorite 4G network”.
Now they’ve got another claim to add to the list, albeit one you probably won’t be hearing in a commercial anytime soon. As of today, Sprint is the first U.S. carrier to let wholesale customers access their 4G network. In short, this allows third party providers to resell Sprint’s 4G service to their own customers.
This announcement falls right in line with some of Sprint’s recent business-oriented releases. By opening up their network to third-party resellers, Sprint hopes to gain some much-needed market share by getting their hands into wireless solutions that could stand to benefit from some 4G oomph.
Sprint cites partner Mitel as an early example of their collaboration with wholesalers. Mitel, a “leading provider of communications software and solutions for a range of organizations” leaned on Sprint’s network when they offered 4G mobile broadband cards as part of mobility solutions to their clients. In addition to a Sierra Wireless mobile broadband device, Sprint has also announced the availability of the HTC Detail, a Shift 4G-clone as part of their wholesale offerings.
Sprint’s definitely got some mojo in the wholesale space — their MVNO kick culminated in the success of Virgin Mobile, which they later acquired — but we’ll have to see if they can duplicate that performance with 4G.