Sprint announced today it will be switching 4G technologies from WiMax to LTE. The LTE network should go live in mid 2012 and and have a "full rollout" by 2013. Sprint eventually hopes to double current amount of 4G customers with its LTE rollout.

Joining the LTE ranks puts Sprint in the same technology corner as AT&T and Verizon, with only T-Mobile still clinging to HSPA+. Sprint's slice of the LTE airways will be the 800 and 1900Mhz spectrum and, pending the FCC's blessing, 1600MHz.

The LTE device wave will start in 2012 with 15+ devices. Phones will be dual-mode CDMA/LTE and even some tri-mode CDMA/LTE/WiMax mobile hotspots.

Sprint also says it will still sell WiMax devices through 2012. So if you are shopping for a Sprint device in the near future, make sure you get the 4G it's building out and not the 4G it's retiring.


Sprint promises WiMax support will continue through 2012. However, I'd imagine if WiMax isn't in your area now, it never will be. I hope you didn't buy that 4G phone expecting service one day.

[Source: This is my next 1 & 2]

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)

    With Sprint migrating 1.9GHz to LTE, T-Mobile USA would now have a viable partner to bridge and share costs on building out LTE, as T-Mobile was planning to use 1.9GHz for LTE as well, but had no one to partner with to help deploy it.

    • SparklingCyaNide

      I think with this news it may be wise for Sprint and T-Mobile to merge.

  • itsme

    Yeah they had me at the 4g promise a year ago and convinced me to buy the epic, good phone, no service. My 10 dollar fee got me 3g only at a wapping average speed of 75k according to speedtest... empty promises=lies

  • J

    Now that just about everyone is using LTE, it'd be nice to see some partnerships going.

    Have AT&T, Verizon & Sprint each take a geographical third of the country and blanket the s---t out of it with 4G. If they've each only a third (or fourth if T-Mobile joins the party) they might be able to penetrate into rural markets faster and those of us living in Middle-Of-Nowhere USA might actually get 4G coverage before 5G is announced...

    Assuming of course the hardware in the phone could be updated to use all three's different frequencies.

    Then, if I'm in a AT&T section, my Verizon [Nexus/Droid/Galaxy] Prime can jump on the 4G network and zoom along... Or if I go vacationing in a Sprint section my phone just switches over to a few hundred Mhz higher and keeps on going...

  • RockingmyEvo3D

    " So, why did Sprint go for WiMAX initially? Well, my guess is that the carrier simply wanted to be ahead of the competition when it comes to outing a "4G network"."---

    Unused spectrum can only be held onto for a small time. If not utilized in this time frame, the said spectrum needs to be forfeited. Sprint's 2.5Ghz spectrum was due to expire. WiMAX was a ready technology. LTE was just talk. Yes, being first was beneficial, but it wasn't the main ploy for going WiMAX.

    In Short, Sprint really didn't have a choice. It was move it of lose it.
    The move to a ready technology was imminent or they would lose the spectrum necessay for the rollout. LTE was not a ready technology at the time of sprints wimax rollout. It was not in complete control of Sprint for deciding on WiMAX or LTE. At least they were smart to include LTE hardware into the WiMAX infrastructure when building it. So yes sprint was extremely smart because future proofing there network basically future proofs all the devices on the network

    Please understand the provisioning of their premise before condemning them for the move.

    Sprint gets a bad wrap no matter what they do. But it is also important to understand the great things they do as well.

    This news is very useful and exciting for Sprint and their customers as well as potential subscribers alike. I personally look forward to my next EVO BRAND in 2012 the quadcore evo monster that will be LTE in August 2012 you could definitely mark that down.

    • squiddy20

      And well over 90% of your comment has been copied/pasted from bits and pieces of Slammer's comment's found here: http://www.phonearena.com/news/Benefits-from-Sprints-upcoming-LTE-network_id22816 without any credit given.

      So not only are you a complete moron, you're a plagiaristic moron. What a shame. To think you would stoop to something so low. Go troll somewhere else Dick.

      • RockingmyEvo3D

        Go back home to phandroid that's where you have always trolled best..

  • rOB

    So what happens to devices that use WiMax 4g after 2013? Do they become obsolete? Or will they continue to work as they do now?

  • taylord

    My AT&T contract ends in December and I'd like to switch to Sprint. But the 4G device I'd get would have 4G support for a year, maybe, and even then WiMax in my area is piss poor. Thanks a lot Sprint.

  • Slighter

    What about the fucking photon I just bought?

    • ProductFRED

      Sorry buddy, but that's your fault for not doing the research. I don't want to be an asshole about it, but that's basically it. You should have seen that it's a WiMax device, not LTE.

      • Slighter

        you are kidding right? this was almost 2 years ago there flash

        • ProductFRED

          Sorry, I must've clicked the article by mistake. Didn't even realize this was a different article. I was reading a completely different Sprint-related one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cherlyn.bernett Cherlyn Bernett