Sprint Nextel adds new Coderunner 2, 4 eligibility to 2GHz relocation program

Sprint Nextel announced a change June 20 in its 2GHz BAS relocation equipment replacement policy which may help to expedite completion of the project.

The company has now authorized broadcasters with existing Coderunner transmitters and receivers to specify new Microwave Radio Communications Coderunner 2 and Coderunner 4 units. The move supersedes its previous policy, which only allowed broadcasters with existing units to request upgrades.

Sprint Nextel faces an FCC-mandated Sept. 7, 2007, deadline for completion of the 2GHz BAS relocation project. Eliminating certain scheduling delays related to removing existing Coderunners from ENG trucks and receive sites, shipping the units and re-installing them, could help the telecommunications giant make up some time lost to other delays in the relocation project.

According to Sprint Nextel, broadcasters previously eligible for upgrading their Coderunner 2 and 4 units should now select replacement equipment — either new Coderunner 2 and 4 units from MRC or units from another vendor. MRC Strata upgrades will continue to be eligible under the program.

MRC has announced it will continue to offer upgrades of its Coderunner 2 and Coderunner 4 products, which may be an attractive alternative to broadcasters not eligible for Sprint Nextel 2GHz relocation reimbursement compensation.

MRC will honor deals it has with the few broadcasters who have signed frequency relocation agreements in which a Coderunner upgrade has been specified.

Removal of the option to upgrade the Coderunner receivers and transmitters under Sprint Nextel’s plan is the result of an effort “to simplify logistics” and complete the transition faster, “not a result of concerns” about MRC’s performance or its equipment, according to a statement on the 2GHzrelocation.com Web site.

(Editor’s note: A previous version of this story published earlier today [June 28] erroneously reported that the Coderunner 2 transmitter and Coderunner 4 receiver had been dropped from the program. In fact, Sprint Nextel had decided to discontinue the upgrade program for existing Coderunner 2 and Coderunner 4s from the program. We regret the error.)