Since Sprint's agreement with LTE wholesaler LightSquared was signed in July, there have been rumblings about just when the carrier would launch an LTE network of its own. CNET reported Tuesday that the time is nearly at hand - Sprint is poised to launch their LTE network beginning in "early 2012."

According to CNET, Sprint hopes to launch this service by the beginning of Q2 2012, and the costs associated with the rollout have already been accounted for, meaning no additional capital investment will be necessary.

Sprint's move to LTE is likely due to the fact that Wimax's initial edge over the competition is quickly fading, thanks in large part to the presence of Verizon Wireless' faster LTE network which has enjoyed a much wider deployment.

LTE will not only help Sprint stay competitive as the third largest carrier in the U.S., but - as CNET speculates - will even the data consumption load between 3G and 4G. Conveniently, Sprint plans to use its G-block spectrum, gained in the acquisition of Nextel. This is convenient because Sprint plans to shut down the Nextel network (and iDEN along with it) by 2013.

Despite the fact that Sprint will essentially have to "start over" in deploying a new LTE network, it will, in the end, benefit both the carrier and its consumers by offering a new competitive edge and superior data speeds over WiMax.

Source: CNET

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    And I'll be right here first in line to test out the LTE network. This Wimax business is way too spotty to be useful - it feels more as a patch until a proper solution is implemented than a solution on its own.

  • Heywud Jooblowmeh

    I agree, I cannot wait! I was thinking of ditching Sprint, but since I'm running CM7, I roam on Verizon! 450+ MB used on Verizon, 50MB on Sprint lol! 800Mhz could be a little better than Verizon's 700Mhz, as it can hold a bit more data, but at the cost of building penetration. 100Mhz shouldn't be too much of a difference.

    • Sing

      So if you have CM7 you can roam on Big Red without being caught?

    • kyouko

      As per Sprint's "Pricing Information and Terms" & "Terms and Conditions" respectively:

      PI&T - Voice/Data Usage Limitation: Sprint reserves the right, without notice, to limit throughput speeds, and to deny, terminate, modify, disconnect or suspend service if off-network usage in a month exceeds: (1) voice: 800 min. or a majority of minutes; or (2) data: 300 megabytes or a majority of kilobytes. Prohibited network use rules apply. See in-store materials or sprint.com/termsandconditions for specific prohibited uses.

      T&C - Off-network Roaming: The primary use of your Device must be for domestic purposes within the Sprint-owned network. Domestic means use in the 50 United States and U.S. Territories (except Guam). Sprint reserves the right, without notice, to deny, terminate, modify, disconnect or suspend service if off-network usage in a month exceeds: (1) voice: 800 min. or a majority of minutes; or (2) data: 300 megabytes or a majority of kilobytes. The display on your device may not always be on and will not indicate whether you will incur roaming charges. You can monitor usage online through My Account. Roaming is not available with single-band phones, or to customers who reside or whose primary use is outside an area covered by the Nationwide Sprint Network. Sprint may limit or terminate service if you move outside of the Sprint owned-network.

      That being said, people have had their contracts terminated because of roaming and others have done it for a long time without even being contacted by Sprint for it. YMMV

      • Heywud Jooblowmeh

        Yea I understand the contract rules. But I have contacted sprint before, 3 times, about their coverage in my area. They did some stupid stuff like, restarting my phone, telling me to uninstall some applications, stupid stuff that has NOTHING to do with my reception where I work. I literally bounce from 3G to 1x to ZERO service.

        It's so bad that, if I were to just leave it on Sprint service without hopping Verizon, my battery would literally die in 3 hours, and that's with just texting, and playing a game for max 5 minutes.

        I have no choice but to roam on Verizon if I need decent internet speeds, or even a 3G connection at all. Just trying to load a simple text base site(A game I play online), drops the battery 2-10% on Sprint's 3G/1x.

        • Rob

          That's interesting. I think I'm in Sprint mode only. I don't believe I've ever trying roaming on VZW's network. I'm running CM7 so it might interesting to see if data speeds change any by allowing my phone to roam. With stock OS, I always saw the 3G icon, but with CM7 I have occasionally seen the dreaded 1X pop up indicating that I'm connecting at much slower speeds than originally thought. :(

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com PixelSlave

    The question is, will they continue to sell unlimited data for the LTE service. If so, it will put pressure to AT&T and Verizon to lower their prices.

    Also, as the world moves towards LTE, does that mean we will start seeing multi-band LTE smartphones that we can import from foreign country?