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Earlier this year, on June 16th (which also happens to be my birthday), I stepped out of a train in Mountain View and, to my delight, caught my first ever 4G signal in the Bay Area. It seems I was not alone, and soon many of you were reporting seeing a weak signal, which slowly grew stronger and spread across the Bay.

Fast forward 6 months, and the announcement is finally here - Sprint just unleashed the 4G hounds and is officially supporting San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose, and Oakland in full capacity. The new WiMax connection has smaller latency and is over 5 times faster than 3G, although the coverage area still lacks quite a bit.

I personally don't get any 4G signal here in the Westwood Park neighborhood of SF, so I know the coverage is definitely not 100%, but I'm hoping it will continue improving, like it has been for the last half a year.

Additionally, I'm not sure why Mountain View and Santa Clara are not listed, but they have a very strong 4G signal, as confirmed by myself and many of you. I suppose Sprint did not want to name towns smaller than a certain size, which is understandable.

Of course, in order to get 4G service, you need to own one of the supported Android handsets, of which there are currently only two:

As Sprint’s 4G network expands, be sure to follow its growth on our up-to-date 4G Coverage Tracker, right here at Android Police.

Press release:

28 December 2010

Tech Lovers Rejoice! The San Francisco Bay Area is Wired with Sprint 4G

The Power and Speed of Sprint 4G is Now Available in 71 Markets Nationwide

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), December 28, 2010 - Today, Sprint (NYSE:S) officially unleashed the power of 4G in one of the world’s largest hotbeds of technological creativity and advancement - the San Francisco Bay Area. The new mobile broadband service from Sprint enables fast mobile downloads, wireless video chat and turbo-charged mobile Web browsing up to 10 times faster than 3G service1. The service will initially be available in San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto and Oakland. Nationwide, tech enthusiasts are enjoying the power and speed of the Sprint 4G network, in 71 markets2 across the country, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York City.

The Sprint 4G Network can be accessed with a wide range of 3G/4G capable devices. For example, tourists can snap a photo of a San Francisco landmark with their Samsung Epic™ 4G and use Google Goggles to pull up facts about it by using visual search technology. Customers can video chat on their HTC EVO™ 4G, and families traveling for the holidays can power up the Overdrive™ 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot to share 4G speeds with up to five WiFi-enabled devices – such as an iPad™, laptop, iPod Touch™ or game console – making downloads, streaming video and Web browsing fast and easy. For students, consumers and small businesses that rely on Internet access, Web browsing and social networking to stay connected, Sprint also offers Dell™ Inspiron™ Mini 10 (1012) netbook designed to deliver maximum connectivity in a compact size.

“The Bay Area is responsible for creating so much new technology and today we are bringing the power of 4G to our customers in that region who are hungry for fast mobile broadband,” said Matt Carter, president-Sprint 4G. “The introduction of Sprint 4G will be a great asset for this area, and we encourage customers to try it by using one of our well-regarded 4G mobile devices.”

The Bay Area’s own Raj Singh of San Jose was one of five winners of the Sprint 4G App Challenge. Singh developed an innovative application to help food lovers be more productive in the kitchen. His application, Recipe Search, is a reverse recipe finder app. The user simply speaks the ingredients they have in their refrigerator or pantry and will then see a display of meals with directions for creating something with those ingredients.

Sprint first launched 4G in Baltimore in September 2008 and since then has delivered a robust portfolio of 4G devices, including smartphones, USB aircards, notebook/netbook products, mobile hotspots and routers, that are currently being used by consumers and businesses across the country.

For more information, visit www.sprint.com/4G.

Source: Sprint

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Uphor8

    Yay, it's finally here!

  • Chris Ponciano

    im not getting anything, i get:

    Turning on...
    Scanning...
    Connecting to sprint...
    Turning off...

    repeat

    • Dan

      That's exactly what mine is doing. I hope it's not a problem with the rom. I'm on Fresh 3.5.0.1 w/ the latest radio and nv/prl updates.

      • chris ponciano

        same here, Fresh Evo 3.5.0.0 last night then i upgraded to the 3.5.0.1 when i had no luck with 4g, but same thing after. :(

  • http://twitter.com/LipGloss712 LipGloss712

    I was in Pacifica this past weekend and I had 4G there. I am in SF with the 4G on and still don't have it.

  • ctv

    Berkeley...nothing. SF near Sloat...nothing.

  • Kent

    West San Jose - Nothing.

  • bill

    Spotty and weak in downtown alameda(bummer) spotty and weak at the north field of the oakland airport. Booo sprint! Do it right for once

  • Dan

    I'm in North Beach in SF; No 4G for me.

  • TheNinj

    Works fine in San Jose and Santa Clara (ever since I got my phone in early Nov., actually).

  • Kent

    I've looked at the 4G coverage map and am totally frustrated now! I have both the Epic and the EVO and an area about 3 square miles in San Jose is without 4G. Of course my house sits right in the middle of this non 4G area. Thanks Sprint for all the hype! Thanks Sprint for taking my $20 a month premium use fees! Thanks Sprint for once again promising but not delivering!

  • http://www.slipshft.com Slipshft

    The network is not fully built yet & like any new network it will take times to fill in the holes.

  • chris ponciano

    so whats the news with this, anyone having luck, i think got connection to 4g more before it was launch, ever since i havent picked up 4g once... Im in northern Santa Clara going back and forth between the airport and great america area.

  • LM

    no way, my birthday is June 16th too. :)

    On a more on-topic note... its been rolled out and I still don't have 4G in Concord :/