Sprint's list of 2012 LTE rollout markets (confirmed or otherwise) seems to be growing by the minute. Last week, it was revealed that construction was beginning in the San Francisco Bay Area, headed for official activation by the end of 2012. Today, S4GRU revealed that NYC may also be on the list of 2012 markets, explaining that Sprint is not likely to announce second or third-round markets because there is no way to accurately determine when activations will occur.
Remember back in December when Verizon announced its plans to buy a truckload of spectrum licenses from several cable companies? T-Mobile does, and they're not happy about it. The fourth-largest US carrier told the FCC that the deal would allow Verizon to "accumulate even more spectrum on top of an already dominant position."
Verizon fired back with the time-honored legal defense of "Well, why not? Nobody else is using it!" In a response to the filing, Verizon claimed that the deal would make use of spectrum that is currently going unutilized by the cable companies.
It seems Sprint just can't catch a break lately. After the LightSquared LTE fiasco (it seems eminently likely Sprint will be forking over $65 million and have to cancel the deal), this just seems a bit like kicking the company when it's already down. Comcast has filed suit in Pennsylvania against the nation's number-three carrier, and it's for patent infringement.
Namely, Comcast alleges that Sprint is violating patents it owns covering technologies like SMS/MMS, mobile broadband cards and hotspots, as well as certain traffic routing technologies (IP/MPLS).
Talk of Sprint's upcoming LTE network has been on the rise over the last several weeks, with Dan Hesse himself announcing the first four cities (Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio) to gain the ultra-fast network, and Kansas and Baltimore being added to the list shortly after.
We're now hearing word that the San Francisco Bay Area is likely to gain Sprint LTE before the end of 2012, with construction of the network already underway.
At the end of January, a leaked Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 build IMM26 for the Sprint Nexus S 4G ended up online, indicating that a possible official release wasn't too far off. We heard this leak caused quite a bit of commotion within the companies involved, which may have had something to do with the XDA post getting wiped clean shortly after (although the poster did state he would only keep it going for a few days).
Earlier today, when I read comments from Motorola executive Christy Wyatt over on PCMag explaining that lagging software updates could be blamed in large part on hardware variation, my first response was "really?" Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Motorola has iterated so much hardware in the last year that it has actually promised to cut down on the number of versions of Android handsets it will make.
Specifically, Wyatt made a point of the obvious fact that when Google releases the source code for Android, the only devices it will readily compile on fall into the "Nexus" category.
Sprint posted its fourth quarter earnings this morning, and they definitely painted a mixed picture of the company's financial position. On the one hand, the Alamo of unlimited data increased its subscriber base by 1.6 million in the last quarter, with big thanks likely owed to the addition of the iPhone to Sprint's lineup - giving them a significant advantage over their primary price point rival, T-Mobile.
Unfortunately, also because of the iPhone, the company managed a $1.3 billion net loss for the quarter, owed in large part to the massive cost of providing the device ($15.5 billion over 4 years) to customers at heavily subsidized price points.
A rumor has begun circulating over the past week about the possible existence of an upgraded version of the just-released Galaxy Nexus. At CES, ASUS announced the TF700T, a beefier version of the Transformer Prime (well before the first Transformer Prime has even been released in many countries), leaving a lot of people who bought the first iteration a bit upset. Are Google and Samsung following ASUS's lead and planning on releasing an incremental upgrade to the Galaxy Nexus so soon?
A new tablet is coming to the Sprint network next month, though it's definitely on the budget-minded side of things. The ZTE Optik will be available to Sprint customers starting February 5th through Sprint's online store, with a brick and mortar appearance to follow on March 11th. Here's a quick breakdown on the need-to-know specs for the Optik:
- 1.2GHz dual-core processor (we'd expect TI OMAP 4430, but that's a guess - yours is as good as ours)
- 7" display (resolution unknown - we're predicting 1280x800)
- 1 GB RAM / 16GB internal storage
- MicroSD card slot
- 5MP rear / 2MP front camera
- Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 3G connectivity
- 4000mAh battery
- Android 3.2 Honeycomb
- $99 w/ 2 year agreement, $349 off-contract
Check it out, below:
Thanks, Captain Anonymous!
In Sprint's ever expanding quest to rid its handsets of Carrier IQ, the OTAs just keep on comin'. Today's the day for the HTC EVO Shift 4G, and the update just started rolling out. The changelog looks all too familiar:
- Security Update (read: CIQ removal)
- Updated Peep client (to align with Twitter)
- Battery life improvements
To manually pull the update, hit Settings > About phone > System updates > HTC software update.