(Source: Getty Images)

The HTC EVO 3D runs on Sprint's existing WiMAX network
Sprint's WiMAX network to be phased out and replaced by LTE

We knew this day was coming, but Sprint is now adding a bit more detail to its plans to convert to LTE. Verizon is already well on its way to blanketing the U.S. with its LTE network, and AT&T is just getting the ball rolling with an initial rollout in five markets.

Sprint, on the other hand, will not start its roll-out until mid-2012 according to Engadget and PC World. Sprint hopes to have its entire LTE network built out by the end of calendar year 2013. Sprint says that its finished network will reach 250 million Americans compared to the 120 million that its WiMAX network currently reaches.

As previously reported, the LTE network is being developed in conjunction with LightSquared and will operate on 800MHz, 1600MHz, and 1900MHz spectrums.

For those of you that bought into Sprint's WiMAX network, or are still for some reason looking to purchase a WiMAX device at this point, Sprint will continue to offer WiMAX dongles, hotspots, and smartphones through 2012.

In an effort to lessen the strain on its network, Sprint will also be taking a page from AT&T's playbook by offering free Wi-Fi hotspots across the nation. This will reportedly cut LTE network congestion by 20 percent.

Sources: Engadget, PC World

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