Since the launch of the government initiative ConnectED that focuses on expanding online education, telecom service providers have been keen about lending support to this cause. One of the front runners, Sprint Corporation (S - Free Report) has already announced its plans in this regard.
The company has launched the online ConnectED application and information portal to help educational institutions and school districts in applying and receiving the Sprint Spark high-speed wireless broadband connectivity for up to four years, to further off-campus digital learning opportunities. The initiative will benefit up to 50,000 students across the U.S.
Reportedly, AT&T Inc. (T - Free Report) has also come up with such initiatives and launched its online application for $100 million in free classroom mobile connectivity, in support of the government’s goal of offering digital learning system to 99% of classrooms by 2017 through project ConnectED.
We believe this new step taken toward supporting the national cause of e-learning and popularising the same will help Sprint reach out to an increased population and in turn, strengthen its foothold in the Internet business.
The company’s market penetration also depends upon the success of its multi-billion dollar restructuring program known as Network Vision. As part of the Network Vision strategy, in 2013, Sprint launched 4G LTE in 340 markets, covering more than 200 million POPs, and expects to cover approximately 250 million LTE POPs by the second half of 2014. In terms of 3G infrastructure, the company expects to see a 25% increase in 3G data speeds with new equipment and enhanced backhaul.
At the same time, Sprint remains focused on developing its HD voice platform, which is expected to cover the entire nation by mid-2014. Currently, the carrier has over 12 million customers using its HD voice capable handsets. We believe the efficient use of capital, reduction of cell sites, the elimination of dual networks, backhaul efficiencies, reduced churn, lower roaming charges and energy cost savings bode well for Sprint’s long-term growth.
Sprint has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Better-ranked stocks in this sector include KT Corp. and Level 3 Communications, Inc. , with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), respectively.