A research firm is claiming that Sprint is not only transitioning to LTE, but that the process is already well under way. Supposedly codenamed by Sprint "Project Leapfrog," Gerson Lehrman Group says they have knowledge of Sprint's switch and that it will apparently take place over the course of the next three years.

"Sprint has initiated project leapfrog with Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, and Samsung to upgrade its network to LTE," cited the report. "This three year project is designed to leave Sprint with a competitive, nationwide LTE network while reducing operating costs."

Rumors have been swirling for some time now of the nation's third-largest carrier dumping Wimax and shifting to LTE. All the way back in July of 2010, CEO Dan Hesse said "We have the spectrum resources where we could add LTE if we choose to do that, on top of the WiMAX network. The beauty of having a lot of spectrum is we have a lot of flexibility." Recently their tone shifted a bit, saying they are in the process of evaluating the effectiveness of WiMax, adding that they have "a Plan B" if things go south. Then several weeks ago, Steve Elfman, Sprint's president of network operations, boasted that a transition to LTE could be relatively easy, having devices ready by next year, and offering nationwide coverage by 2013. If Gerson Lehrman's report is correct, it appears that the ifs have been taken out of the previous talk and the ball is already rolling.

Source: Gerson Lehrman Group via BGR and Information Week

Will Shanklin
Will's typical, run-of-the-mill story is that of 'classically-trained actor turned Android smartphone and tablet writer.' If you catch him quoting Shakespeare, it's not because he misses it, but because he desperately wants his Masters in drama to count towards something.

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  • Larry

    Well, that's fine, I just hope they have more WIMAX deployments coming down the pike. I would really like to see it here in Metro Detroit before they switch over and my EVO becomes obsolete.

    • todd

      Based on what has been said about the transition, you should be able to use your EVO on the LTE network if they decide to push an update. However, it would be in their best interests to get you to buy a new phone, so I doubt that will happen.

      • Larry

        I've read that WIMAX towers are easily "upgradeable" to LTE, but I don't think the phones are the same. We'd need an LTE radio in the Evo.

    • http://none Jacknyd

      Buy a lottery ticket, the odds are better :)

    • Xcom923

      By the time the LTE network is ready you'd probably be ready for another phone anyway. I know I'm already hungry for the Evo 3D that's rumored about. But I have some requirements for my next phone:

      NFC support
      LTE Support (on sprint)
      >= 4.3"
      current console Gen graphics

      • Larry

        I can see that, but I'm just hoping they don't stop building out WiMAX so I can get my 4 gees nao!

  • D.G.

    Xcom923 I agree. By the time the LTE network is functioning the way it is intended phones coming out now will outdated big time. I know I probably wont buy an LTE phone until the network fully supports it. Just my 2 cents.

  • James

    All I can say is, good for them.

  • SiliconAddict

    Heh. Maybe that was why I went to 1x on my EVO for over 3 hours yesterday at work. :P

  • Matt

    They will most likely run both until everybody gets an upgrade. LTE on, stop selling Wimax phones, wait two years, Wimax off.

  • kohut321

    I thought they made it clear on the article that they would be running BOTH "We have the spectrum resources where we could add LTE if we choose to do that, on top of the WiMAX network." I fail to understand the speculation.