Sprint Steps Up LTE Roll-Out, Handsets Arriving by Q3 2012
December 6, 2011 9:00 AM
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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."
, 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."
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We shall see.
12/6/2011 6:51:18 PM
I guess the timing is right for me. I signed up for Sprint service in October 2010. By that time 2012, they should have made a lot of progress on their LTE network as well as phones to use it. As long as Sprint keeps unlimited data, they will have my business. The kind of phone I buy is another story. My Evo was obsolete a few weeks or months after I bought it. I will need a phone that will last a full 2-year commitment. While I don’t think that is asking, too much I doubt that will happen. They sign you up for 2 years but the phones are only supported for 6 months to a year. Past that, they stop getting updates.....
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