Sprint just released its Q3 earnings report, and while it's nothing to boast about, it does offer some encouraging numbers for the Now Network. Its operating revenue is up to $8.3 billion -- a slight jump up from this time last year. It also saw a major jump in wireless subscribers, adding 1.3 million new customers -- a five year high for the company. Out of the 1.3 million, 304,000 were post-paid, 485,000 were pre-paid, and 835,000 were wholesale.
Tonight, Samsung Mobile and T-Mobile announced the Exhibit II 4G, a new 4G smartphone aimed at the budget-conscious subscriber. The Exhibit II 4G will be the first no-annual-contract 4G smartphone sold at most Walmart stores, and is set for an October 27th release.
The budget smartphone will also come to T-Mobile retail stores November 2nd, offered at the low price of $29.99 after a $50.00 mail-in rebate with a two-year agreement and qualifying plan.
There's been a lot of buzz over Sprint's LTE plans lately, but the company's vice president of network development and engineering, Iyad Tarazi has just added more fuel to the fire, indicating that Sprint plans to deploy LTE-Advanced in a 10x10 configuration by the first half of 2013, using its 800MHz spectrum, offering download speeds of around 12-15 MB/s.
Meanwhile, Sprint's deployment of LTE on their 1900MHz spectrum is still on track for commercial launch by mid-2012.
It seems there's been some renewed interest in the subject of Block C LTE "no locking" provisions after news that the Motorola RAZR will come equipped with a locked bootloader per Verizon's request. About four months ago, I published an article on this very topic. To summarize: Verizon can basically do almost anything it wants with handsets on its network in the name of reasonable network management - subject to a few limitations and caveats.
The clever folks over at WirelessGoodness located an FCC filing today that indicates with a fair degree of certainty that a GSM version of the upcoming DROID RAZR is headed to either AT&T or US regional carriers, as the phone does not support T-Mobile frequencies. The filing doesn't say anything about the RAZR itself, but it does contain a part number matching the RAZR's unique non-removable battery, the first on a Motorola smartphone.
So, you want to jump over to Sprint, but don't need the fastest device on the planet?
Both Amazon Wireless and Wirefly have a good deal going on the just released EVO Design 4G by HTC: $50. Update: It's still $50 at Wirefly, but Amazon Wireless just dropped the price to $30. Of course, this requires a new two-year contract, so all current Sprintsters will be stuck paying $80, which still saves about $20 over the in-store price.
The mid-range Samsung Transform Ultra was recently announced for Boost Mobile, a pre-paid subsidiary of Sprint. It looks like the Now Network loved this little guy so much, though, that it just had to snag its own version, too -- but don't expect many (or any, really) changes over the Boost Version.
The Transform Ultra is sporting a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 512MB RAM, a 3MP rear camera and VGA front-facing, with a 3.5-inch display, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and Android 2.3.
Perhaps you've heard of an upcoming phone called the Galaxy Nexus. It's just a little piece of awesome sent down from the Android Gods to bring in the newest version of Android: Ice Cream Sandwich. Ever since it was officially unveiled on Tuesday night, there have been rumors flying around that Big Red may not be the network that will get this oh-so spectacular device -- but, thankfully, we can now put all that crap to rest, because Verizon just officially announced it.
If there's one thing the iPhone 4S seems to be screwing up after its very successful debut, it would seem to be Sprint's 3G. Since the launch of Apple's newest iThing, Sprint 3G speeds have absolutely tanked for users in many areas. How widespread is the problem? Well, this 45-page (and growing) thread with nearly 700 replies over on the Sprint Community forums would seem to indicate the answer is "very."
The problem has affected everyone - as shown by lackluster results from some of our own Sprint devices of late while on 3G.
If you're a Sprint customer who has been waiting for an Android device that incorporates Direct Connect functionality, then the Motorola Admiral has your name written all over it. This Blackberry-esque handset is the first Android-powered device to rock Sprint's push-to-talk functionality, wrapped in a rugged shell:
- 3.1-inch display
- 1.2GHz single-core processor
- 5MP rear shooter
- QWERTY keyboard
- 4GB internal storage, microSD card slot
- Gorilla Glass
- Dust, shock, vibration, solar radiation, low pressure, and high/low temperature resistant
- Android 2.3.x
I have to say, I'm actually impressed with the look of this device.