Sprint rolling out 4G to at least 8 major markets in 2010

Sprint's 4G WiMAX network has gotten nothing but good reviews since they showed off their Overdrive 4G/3G portable router at CES. Since then, news has come in that the number three wireless carrier in the United States would launch several 4G enabled handsets before the end of the year, with at least one this summer.

The big problem with releasing 4G devices is the lack of markets available to take advantage of it. Currently, Sprint's WiMAX network is only available in 27 markets--most of which are in Texas and the east coast. MobileCrunch is reporting that Sprint will unleash 4G upon at least 8 more major markets by the end of the year. These are the biggies:

  • Boston
  • Denver
  • Kansas City
  • Houston
  • Minneapolis
  • New York
  • San Francisco
  • Washington D.C.

Sprint has also promised to throw a few more launches in there, but did not give any further details. To check out current WiMAX coverage, visit the coverage map on Clear's website.

Assuming Sprint beats other carriers in being the first to blanket the entire country with their 4G technology, they will surely have the upper hand in gaining speed hungry subscribers. That, combined with their crown as "most reliable wireless carrier" and great prices, positions them as a great choice for consumers. WiMAX could very well be the thing that saves the ailing wireless provider.

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13 Comments

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I have had Clearwire WIMAX for 6 months. Sprint uses the same network I believe. Glad this was not a rollout to the most popular cities first. I always thought San Antonio was the last to get anything. Not this time.

Author said,
The big problem with releasing 4G devices is the lack of markets available to take advantage of it.

Except that they will be backwards compatible to 3G, so I don't see this as a huge problem.

vaximily said,

Except that they will be backwards compatible to 3G, so I don't see this as a huge problem.

Cost. 4G devices will cost more to produce and therefore more to purchase. People don't want to spend extra on a device that supports a network technology they can't take advantage of. I know there's "future proofing," but not everybody will see it that way.

CentralDogma said,
LTE > WiMAX

And all of Sprint's equipment can be switched from WiMax to LTE with a simple firmware update if that's the direction the rest of the industry goes. Unfortunately, LTE wasn't ready for prime-time when Sprint started rolling out WiMax some years ago.

CentralDogma said,
LTE > WiMAX
Yeah right, WiMAX smokes LTE. Did you know Sprint owns over 100MHz of WiMAX spectrum in just about every major market? Nice knowing you, LTE..

vaximily said,

And all of Sprint's equipment can be switched from WiMax to LTE with a simple firmware update if that's the direction the rest of the industry goes. Unfortunately, LTE wasn't ready for prime-time when Sprint started rolling out WiMax some years ago.

Technically WiMax cannot be upgraded to LTE with just a simple firmware for sure..they need to upgrade the support systems as well

guruparan said,
Technically WiMax cannot be upgraded to LTE with just a simple firmware for sure..they need to upgrade the support systems as well

I didn't say anything about support systems, I said the WiMax hardware itself. But your comment is valid.