Print 13 comment(s) - last by Solandri.. on Dec 7 at 2:49 AM

Company hopes to cover 120 million people with LTE by end of next year, 250 million by 2013

Yesterday in an interview with UBS, Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer announced the company's plans to launch LTE phones in the second half of 2012. Sprint's first multimodal base station, which supports both CDMA and LTE, is currently being deployed.

According to Euteneuer, the plan is to build out Sprint's LTE infrastructure across the U.S. first, and then introduce handsets that can take advantage of it.

Euteneuer pointed to Q3 of next year as a likely timeframe for Sprint's first LTE handsets, which he says "will be very competitive to what's already out on the marketplace." 

Back in July, Sprint reportedly entered into a $13.3B contract with the company LightSquared for its LTE build-out. The new 4G network will operate on 800MHz, 1600MHz, and 1900MHz spectrums.

Euteneuer's recent statements reflect a recognition by Sprint that WiMAX is only a temporary "4G" solution, whereas LTE is long-term.

"We're talking about covering 120 million [people] by the end of 2012," Euteneuer said. "We've accelerated this because we believe LTE is really key to our future."

As previously reported, Sprint will continue to sell WiMAX devices through the end of 2012. But Euteneuer stressed that the WiMAX network will continue to be supported all the way through 2015.

Sprint will also be paying Clearwire $350 million over two years "if they meet targets in delivering LTE to sites where traffic is heaviest."

Sources: Engadget, UBS

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RE: Great, but where?
By Church of Dirac on 12/6/2011 12:49:04 PM , Rating: 2
I love how we are finally getting moving from CDMA2000 based technology to GSM but every provider in the US has sightly different frequencies so we can't swap SIM cards like the designers intended, unless some manufacturer makes a 10 band phone. Maybe they will figure out some way to completely eliminated the SIM so you are stuck with their phones on their terms. I always felt the NAM based system of CDMA2000 and its evolved brothers was a relic from the days of AMPS. It's total BS that I couldn't use a Sprint phone on Verizon or US Cellular just because they want me to buy one of theirs, not to mention the whole "Dirty ESN" BS they try to pull if you get a used phone. GSM FTW!

RE: Great, but where?
By mcnabney on 12/6/2011 4:11:14 PM , Rating: 2
SIMs don't work that way.

The antennae on handsets do though.

RE: Great, but where?
By Solandri on 12/7/2011 2:49:02 AM , Rating: 2
I love how we are finally getting moving from CDMA2000 based technology to GSM


The original GSM lost the cell standard wars. Its TDMA was incapable of allocating bandwidth efficiently for data services. CDMA completely spanked it in the market (remember how Verizon and Spring had 3G nearly 2 years before AT&T?). The GSM carriers had to come up with CDMA-based systems to graft onto the GSM standard to provide competitive data service. Otherwise you'd still be at about 50-100 kbps data speeds on GSM.

What's happening now is that carriers are moving towards coding like OFDMA (what LTE uses). It lets you cram in more data, but requires a lot more signal processing than CDMA to recover the signal (which in turn required more signal processing than TDMA). Previously, CPUs weren't capable of decoding OFDMA in a power-efficient manner. Now they can. That's why we're transitioning away from CDMA. We are not "moving to GSM".

That said, the SIM card on GSM was a wonderful idea, and I really wish it had been expanded to encompass all cellular broadcast technologies. Instead, it was initially shackled to the terrible, terrible TDMA. (In TDMA, each phone takes turns talking to the tower. So your phone takes up part of the tower's time even if it has nothing to say.)

but every provider in the US has sightly different frequencies so we can't swap SIM cards like the designers intended

The radios in the phones are capable of covering most frequencies if they're sequential (e.g. 1.8-1.9 GHz). The problem is the U.S. government didn't allocate contiguous frequencies. So you have some carriers at 800 MHz, others at 900 MHz, 1.8 Ghz, 1.9 Ghz, 2.1 GHz, etc. It's more expensive to build a radio which covers such a wide range of frequencies, so you end up having to put in separate radios.

And this has nothing to do with swapping SIM cards. You can take a SIM card from a 800 MHz phone and move it into a 1.9 GHz phone just fine. The problem is the carriers locking each particular phone to their network so you can't use it on a different network with a different SIM. Even if your contract is expired (and you've paid off your phone's purchase subsidy), I think T-Mobile is the only one which will unlock your phone for you. With the other carriers you have to continue using their service, or junk your phone if you switch.

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