Compared to Verizon and AT&T, Sprint's network leaves much to be desired in terms of both data speeds and coverage. This isn't the result of a lack of effort, though, as the Kansas-based company has steadily rolled out LTE to new markets throughout the summer. Today the company has announced the availability of 4G LTE in 34 new markets, bringing the total number from 151 up to 185. Sprint customers throughout the South, Midwest, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania should now have a new reason to smile.
Think of Sprint as the Little Engine That Could. It's tinkered with 4G perhaps longer than any of America's other major carriers, but it has little to show for it. There are large swaths of the country that don't have LTE coverage and the speeds aren't necessarily that fast in the areas that do. Still, those of us on Sprint's network must hold on to hope. The company is hard at work, and today they've announced the availability of 4G LTE in 41 new markets.
AT&T has announced some new LTE markets today and will be expanding coverage in a few more. You can check out the full list below. If you've been hoping for AT&T LTE to reach your corner of the world, cross your fingers and proceed.
It's that time again. AT&T has been busy adding and upgrading several markets with high-speed LTE. This round of upgrades seems to focus a bit more attention to the Northeast, particularly in the New York and New Jersey areas. Still, quite a few other locations are popping up around the country. With most new spots checking in with populations below 100,000 people, and some below the 10k mark, AT&T is closing in on its target to finish covering the United States with LTE by the end of this year.
Perhaps you've noticed tantalizing flickers of AT&T 4G LTE on your handset in recent weeks. That's a sure sign something about to break loose, and now it has. AT&T is firing up LTE in 22 new markets and expanding coverage in 10 others. Most of the new markets are mid-size cities, which really tells you how far along AT&T is in its rollout.
Better late than never, I suppose. Today Sprint announced that it's bringing new LTE service to Boston and Framingham, Mass., Austin and Bryan-College Station, TX, Fort Wayne, IN, and Western Puerto Rico. The latter is actually not the first round of 4G coverage for the territory, as PR has had coverage in a few southern cities for a while. Additionally, the carrier improved its 3G services throughout the entire island.
It's a good start for 2013 as Sprint continues its Network Vision plan, which should only ramp up this year as a variety of deals—including the Softbank acquisition, the Clearwire buyout, and spectrum purchases—finalize.
Have you heard that T-Mobile is working on an LTE network? It's true. According to an interview with the carrier's USA EVP and CTO Neville Ray over on FierceWireless, the company is "days away" from flipping the switch on its new towers. The initial rollout will take place in Las Vegas (where T-Mo had hoped to debut in time for CES, but was delayed), followed closely by Kansas City.
Today, Sprint announced that it would be spending $2.2bn to acquire the remaining (roughly) half of Clearwire that it doesn't already own. The transaction, which is naturally subject to regulatory approval, will give the carrier ownership of all of Clearwire's significant share of spectrum, which will be a huge boost to Sprint as it attempts to build out an LTE network to compete with Verizon and AT&T.
Of course, these deals can take forever to close, so in the meantime, the two companies have entered into a rather brilliant agreement: Sprint has promised to buy roughly $80m worth of Clearwire stock every month starting in January 2013 for up to ten months (or a total of $800m, and slightly more than 1/3rd of the total Clearwire purchase price).
Sprint would like you to know that, while LTE coverage has not yet been activated in these areas just yet, the Now Network has plans to rollout the shiny new towers to cities like San Francisco and Napa, CA, Naples and Cape Coral, FL, and several markets in midwest and southern states. The network is not live yet, of course. As with the carrier's previous announcement, this is simply to let people know what's coming.
Previously, we'd heard rumors and whispers that T-Mobile (by way of its parent company Deutsche Telekom) would be acquiring MetroPCS. Today, both companies' boards have approved the merger and, pending regulatory and MetroPCS shareholder approval, the deal should be completed by mid-2013. The two companies will have a combined subscriber base of about 42.5 million customers, which still leaves it in fourth place in the U.S. behind Sprint with 56 million and AT&T/Verizon who each have over 100 million users.