Sprint may have gambled wrong with 4G WiMAX several years ago, but the company is coming around. It announced today the addition of 22 new cities to its 4G LTE network. Sprint customers in these areas have been waiting for a while, but they can now enjoy their new speeds just in time for summer.
According to an internal document sent to us by a tipster, Sprint will be turning on the four-gee taps in two major US cities this week - Boston and Chicago. As we know, Sprint is in something of a panic-mode in regard to its 4G rollout, and has decided to begin bringing its network online in some locations before it's fully ready. As you can see in the document below, that is exactly what's happening here.
While Sprint isn't ready to call it "launch" time, it's telling employees that they should be informing customers that 4G coverage is being rolled out, and is accessible in "certain areas," but that the experience may not be "optimal." This basically lines up with a press release Sprint sent out earlier this week, which stated that LTE may be available in some regions before an official launch, and that customers are "free to use it" (read: don't complain if it sucks).
If you're a Sprint subscriber in the Kansas City area, you should probably be getting excited, as Sprint's 4G LTE network went live in portions of that market early yesterday. Sprint has confirmed this with S4GRU, and has stated more markets around the greater Kansas City area will continue to light up until that region's rollout is complete. Additional markets, as we know, are scheduled to go online on the 15th, though based on what we're seeing here, that could be an "at the latest" sort of date.
Are you a Sprint subscriber in the Kansas City area? Post up your Speed Test results in the comments - let's see what Sprint LTE can do.
Hot on the heels of blurry-cam shots of the upcoming LS970, a rumored upcoming Sprint LG device, today we've heard that the carrier has yet another phone from the other Korean electronics giant waiting in the wings - though this one's a little less exciting.
If you recall, the LG Viper is essentially Sprint's take on the LG Lucid, found at Verizon - a mid-range device with highly capable, if slightly dated, specifications. Packing a dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor and LTE, along with a pretty good IPS LCD panel, it definitely has raised the bar in the budget handset scene.
It appears that Sprint will be unveiling something for us in Orlando, FL on March 22, as they have issued media invitations for an event that will be "showcasing the latest innovations from Sprint."
What exactly will be showcased is a mystery at this point, but the last time we were invited to an exciting event from Sprint, it was to preview the dual-screen Kyocera Echo phone (which some viewed as a dud of an announcement). Perhaps the wireless carrier is poised to deliver the knockout punch that many were hoping for last month with this one, but that is all speculation at this point.
AT&T will be purchasing wireless spectrum from Qualcomm, the computer chip manufacturer, for $1.93 billion to provide higher speeds for its 4G network. The spectrum is in the lower 700 MHz frequency band and covers 300 million people in the United States.
The AT&T mobile network has been criticized heavily for some time because of connectivity issues which have caused poor service for its iPhone users. The iPhone uses more data than any feature phone and most smartphones (but not Android phones), so having exclusivity over the phone has put a severe strain on AT&T's network. Customers in heavily populated areas, such as New York City, are known to experience dropped calls and generally slow Internet browsing speeds.
It's no secret that Sprint has had the San Francisco Bay Area on its 4G release roadmap for a while, with a planned release time frame of sometime this year. It's always been mind-boggling to me that the heart of the Silicon Valley, where Google itself lives, along with thousands of other tech companies, was not priority #1 for Sprint.
Is it all about to change? I was getting off Caltrain at Mountain View this morning, playing with the EVO, as usual, when I suddenly noticed the 4G widget somehow switched itself on. I knew we had no 4G around the Bay Area, so I never kept it on.