Stephen Bye was one of the men tasked with upgrading Sprint's wireless network. The carrier had been in the midst of executing a major upgrade to its existing mobile infrastructure (although some customers would like to think that Sprint was not doing it fast enough). Bye was one of the key people responsible for making the upgrades happen across the board.
But as reported by FierceWireless, it appears that Bye will not be staying for long. As a matter of fact, Sprint has officially announced that the Chief Technology Officer will be leaving the carrier in order to explore other opportunities elsewhere. Bye has agreed though to stay until July 24th of this year to work with John Saw, Chief Network Officer at Sprint, as well as Junichi Miyakawa, Technical Chief Operating Officer in laying out future plans for the carrier.
In this tenure, Bye had significant contributions to improving Sprint's capabilities. He was instrumental in deploying the carrier's Network Vision plan, which aimed to upgrade all of the carrier's existing 3G wireless network, and then establish the backbone of a much faster 4G connection. The plan had its share of delays and even resulted to poor network coverage at times, but Sprint has indeed shown signs of improvement especially in terms of the quality of voice calls and text messaging, despite still playing catch up to the industry leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T. The roll out of Sprint's 4G LTE was particularly challenging. The carrier had to deal with different bands of spectrum, not to mention getting mired in the bureaucratic process of some cities where the 4G service was to be deployed. The result was that T-Mobile, its closest rival, overtook it at one point in terms of 4G upgrading.
Bye now joins a short list of network executives who decided to leave Sprint in the last year. These include Steve Elfman, president of network operations, Bob Aziz, senior vice president of networks, and Iyad Tarazi, vice president of network technology development and integration. Despite his departure, Bye is confident that the carrier will be just fine in his absence.
Bye joined Sprint back in 2011 from Cox Communications. Coming in, he was handed the vice president of technology development position, under Elfman. In a few years, Bye was eventually promoted to the position of Chief Technical Officer. Now vacated, that position will likely be handled by Saw and Miyakawa in some capacity, for now at least.
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