Rumor: Sprint teaming up with Walmart for WiMAX network

At CES, Sprint announced "Overdrive" to utilize its 4G WiMAX network. However, the device had to also be compatible with their 3G network, due to the limited coverage that WiMAX currently has. Sprint's roll-out of WiMAX has been happening at a very gradual pace. It's been a while since the public has heard any news about which markets the 4G service will soon be available in.

Perhaps the silence is for a good reason. AndroidGuys has received a tip from a reliable source (who has provided good intel in the past), stating that Sprint is teaming up with Walmart to continue building its nationwide WiMAX network. Walmart stores are, literally, everywhere. With WiMAX's range, Walmart locations could be ideal locations for WiMAX towers. This move would save Sprint a lot of money, as well as speed up network deployment, potentially covering the majority of US residents with the carrier's 4G service.

For now, this is just a rumor. We already know that Sprint has 4G cell phones in pipes for later this year. How can you release a handset that doesn't have a nationwide network to support it? Would it be such a shock if Sprint and Walmart teamed up? Leave your comments below and let us know what you think.

Below is a somewhat recent map of Walmart locations in the US. Looks kind of like a cell phone carrier's coverage map, doesn't it?


Image Credit - FlowingData.com

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That would be a quick way to roll it out. Going in with WalMart, well, at least you're assured people will see the phones. Wins all around, short term.

Red Dragon said,
That would be a quick way to roll it out. Going in with WalMart, well, at least you're assured people will see the phones. Wins all around, short term.

Yeah, I agree. Good idea if it's true...

w00t! Go Sprint! Now snatch up the iPhone and I see yourself the number one carrier within the year with your current awesome plans.

Well so far Sprint is the only carrier that Wal-Mart doesn't carry to my knowledge out of the Big 4. This would be a very worthwhile reason to start.

zackiv31 said,
Damn... that's a great idea... too bad I'd never go to Sprint. Verizon make a deal with Walmart too!

... Verizon hasn't even chosen a 4G technology yet, much less started deploying.

You do realize that VZW & Sprint share a 3G Network right? What one has, the other has... You just get lower prices and better customer service with Sprint... and none of those insane plan restrictions like VZW has (Unlimited Text is really only Unlimited to other Verizon customers???)

No need to go to Sprint for a contract. As a college student, I know at least a few people who use Boost Mobile, which runs on Sprint network. Having expanded 4G will be welcome.

BetaAddict said,
No need to go to Sprint for a contract. As a college student, I know at least a few people who use Boost Mobile, which runs on Sprint network. Having expanded 4G will be welcome.

Actually Boost Mobile runs on the Nextel iDen network, which has excessively slow data speed and is not "3G", despite it's amazing coverage.

vaximily said,
... Verizon hasn't even chosen a 4G technology yet, much less started deploying.

You do realize that VZW & Sprint share a 3G Network right? What one has, the other has... You just get lower prices and better customer service with Sprint... and none of those insane plan restrictions like VZW has (Unlimited Text is really only Unlimited to other Verizon customers???)

Well Sprint roams free on VZW but it's not always 3g roaming. I still think it's worth it for me since I spend 95% of my time in the city where they all have good coverage and I at least get decent coverage the other 5% of the time I am in the sticks since Verizon has better rural coverage. In the end I always have a signal and I pay a lot less than I would for the same plan on Verizon so I feel fine with what I've got.

vaximily said,
Actually Boost Mobile runs on the Nextel iDen network, which has excessively slow data speed and is not "3G", despite it's amazing coverage.

The new boost now also runs on the Sprint 3G CDMA network.

vaximily said,
... Verizon hasn't even chosen a 4G technology yet, much less started deploying.

You do realize that VZW & Sprint share a 3G Network right? What one has, the other has... You just get lower prices and better customer service with Sprint... and none of those insane plan restrictions like VZW has (Unlimited Text is really only Unlimited to other Verizon customers???)

Uhhh. It's called LTE.

Source 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3GPP_Long_Ter...on#cite_note-52
~"# Verizon Wireless completed its first test LTE data calls in August 2009 and plans to deploy LTE beginning in 2010 with system-wide deployment completed in 2013.[53]"
Source 2: http://www.wirelessweek.com/News-Verizon-L...lls-081709.aspx

Second, Verizon has had excellent customer support every time I've called, and from what I know, they're still ranked #1 in Customer Service.
Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10017451-94.html

Third, I have no idea what you're talking about, one of my friends pays for Unlimited Texting and he can very much text AT&T users without getting additional charges. Maybe you're confused, Verizon offers a texting service for Verizon-To-Verizon unlimited, but they also offer unlimited texting to every one.

You sound more like a overly proud Sprint user; try reading and get your facts straight before you knock a company you know obviously very little about.

"How can you release a handset that doesn't have a nationwide network to support it?". I think all of the phones will be 3G/4G, and Sprint's 3G is pretty fantastic as it is. I haven't heard of any being exclusively 4G yet.

Yeah we have it here in Baltimore too. I've been using it for a year now. Funny thing is that it is much cheaper to get it as "Clear" than through Sprint for some reason even though it is the same thing.