Report: Sprint to launch LTE-based network in 2012

Spring is planning to launch its own LTE-based 4G network sometime in early 2012. News.com reports from unnamed sources that the launch could happen sometime at the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter of 2012. The addition of the LTE network is part of a massive revamp of Sprint's network which is expected to cost the company between $4 billion and $5 billion over the next three to five years. There's no word yet on what US cities will be a part of Sprint's LTE launch. Sprint is scheduled to officially announce these plans at a press event in New York City on October 7.

In 2008, Sprint started to launch its WiMax 4G wireless network in a partnership with Clearwire. However, financial issues at Clearwire have prevented Sprint from expanding the WiMax network extensively. That has allowed Verizon Wireless an opening to launch its own LTE-based network. It first started adding US cities to the network in late 2010 and has now expanded to over half of all the US locations that have Verizon's 3G network. AT&T just started launching its own LTE-based network earlier this month in five US cities.

Sprint is likely to have a very big October in terms of announcements. In addition to the LTE reveal, Sprint is also expected to announce that it will be the third US wireless carrier to sell Apple's iPhone. That should give the company a big boost in customers, especially if it sticks with its unlimited data plan, something which both Verizon and AT&T have dumped for new customers.

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Hmm so doesn't this effectively take away the argument of blocking the merger between ATT and T mobile. your big 3. att verizon and sprint are moving to LTE, deutsche telekom has effectively pulled out of T Mobile. so I don't even count it in the move to next gen.

I'd give it 5 years and sprint, Verizon and ATT will fully move to the LTE platform, and a Full IP system. so phones in theory at that point would be portable between systems. although knowing our toothless FCC, they will alow for differences so it won't be.

BTW for those that Mention that the current Sprint customers would be left out as they make the Move. Consider this. All three platforms will require phone upgrades to support first the internet part of LTE. and if they are smart the phones will already have built in support for the IP telephony part of LTE if not another phone upgrade would be necessary. and all current customers will have to upgrade when the IP telephony becomes the standard. again I put that at about 5 years.

Looks like a good move to me. WiMax is absolutely terrible. I'm glad they seem to be admitting that and switching to the better option. I expected them to just live in denial and keep trying to make WiMax "better." Of course, I'll probably dump Sprint long before they make this switch, but it's the thought that counts... I guess.

Nearly everyone else is going to LTE, they are the only major supporters of WiMax which means less hardware and more expensive devices as economies of scale are not there. It had to be done.

bdsams said,
Nearly everyone else is going to LTE, they are the only major supporters of WiMax which means less hardware and more expensive devices as economies of scale are not there. It had to be done.

Quite correct. They wanted to be first to 4G and they were but they should have changed course immediately once Verizon and ATT decided to go with LTE. Ultimately, this should be great for US consumers.

asdavis10 said,

Quite correct. They wanted to be first to 4G and they were but they should have changed course immediately once Verizon and ATT decided to go with LTE. Ultimately, this should be great for US consumers.

yes lte will be better but think of all the people who will not be able to use it while locked into a 2 year contract with a wimax phone. none of the current phones will be able to use the new technology.