Sprint Turns on 4G LTE Network in 15 Cities
July 17, 2012 10:42 AM
comment(s) - last by
Coverage is limited to Texas, Georgia, Kansas, and Missourri
It may not be the nation's largest LTE network, but it's a start. Sprint Nextel Corp. (
late Monday that it had powered up the first branches of its LTE network. America's third largest carrier joins AT&T, Inc. (
) and Verizon Wireless (a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (
) and Vodafone Group Plc. (
)) in embracing the most popular next generation communications standard.
The initial coverage regions for Sprint include:
Fort Worth, Tex.
Granbury-Hood County, Tex.
San Antonio, Tex.
Kansas City, Mo.-Kan.
St. Joseph, Mo.
Sprint started the 4G race ahead of Verizon and AT&T, launching a WiMAX network
in Sept. 2008
. At the time, Sprint could brag that it was the nation's fastest carrier in some regions, and it looked to profit-take off that lead, charging its 4G customers a $10-per-month "high-speed data" fee.
But in Dec. 2010 Verizon
unleashed its response
. Unlike Sprint's network, Verizon's used LTE, a rival standard that enjoyed some technical advantages over WiMAX. Quickly it bumped coverage to over 200 million Americans. It was followed in
Sept. 2011 by AT&T
, whose network covered less people, but
was shown to be faster
in independent testing.
Catching wind of the upcoming AT&T LTE rollout, Sprint in July 2011
committed to an LTE rollout
. Sprint's original plan was to supplement ground-based coverage with a satellite LTE offering, but those plans took a hit when partner LightSquared was accused of
crippling GPS interference
to try to gloss over the glaring technical flaws. LightSquared subsequently
, and Sprint was left navigating the LTE waters on its own.
Sprint offers several LTE-capable handsets, including the EVO 4G LTE from
HTC Corp. (
) and the Galaxy S III.
Today Sprint desparately needs some sort of a boost. It was found to be
the slowest carrier
in recent speed tests. And it's still charging the same old $10 WiMAX fees for many Android smartphone users. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's
bleeding customers by the bucket-full
Verizon's LTE coverage is approaching 260 million Americans and 300+ cities. AT&T's effort is at about 80 million Americans and 50 cities. Sprint hopes to cover 250 million Americans with LTE by the end of 2013.
In other words, Sprint is about a year behind Verizon. However, it's also the only carrier with
no data caps or data overage fees
, so if it can live up to its ambitious roll-out, it could once again provide a compelling alternative to America's top two carriers -- Verizon and AT&T -- as it did back in the heyday of its WiMAX era.
Sprint's highest profile LTE compatible handset is the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich-powered
Galaxy S III
, which launched
on June 21
, courtesy of Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (
). That was followed by the white-edition HTC EVO 4G LTE, which went on sale on Sunday, priced at $199.99 USD, after an initial launch on June 2.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: yup that $10 4G tax..
7/17/2012 5:44:56 PM
There really needs to be a lawsuit about that $10 fee. We paid 2 years and never got 4G. They even changed the name of the fee from "For 4G" to "For using an advanced phone"...
RE: yup that $10 4G tax..
7/17/2012 7:08:38 PM
Yeah they did. I didn't even get a 4G phone and Sprint is charging me the $10 "Smartphone" fee. Unlimited sounded like a good idea when I finally got my first Smartphone. Wish I hasn't been suckered in to it considering how terrible my average data connection actually is on any given day. "Unlimited if you can connect to it" would be more accurate.
RE: yup that $10 4G tax..
7/18/2012 2:15:06 PM
IIRC, they didn't change the name. The fee was initially only added on to new smartphones which just happened to have 4G service, and Sprint's customers started calling it a 4G fee.
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