Sprint to Roll Out LTE Services in 2012
This is a logical step for Sprint as the carrier has finally snagged Apple iPhone 4S, which is a big win for the carrier. Sprint announced its network plans with the initial 120 market implementation of the LTE services. This will then be further expanded to a total of 260 markets by the end of 2013. Sprint also announced that it will be releasing its first LTE device in 2012.
Sprintâ€™s LTE plans is part of the much larger Network Vision plan the company is going to implement. The said plan will attempt to bridge the different network technologies within the Sprint system even as it plans to phase out its Nextel iDEN service in about two years. The LTE network Sprint is going to setup will operate within the 1.9Ghz spectrum. The initial rollout of the network will be shared with LightSquared, which will rollout the terrestrial LTE network that will also support LiqhtSquaredâ€™s satellite-based services. The deal will allow each one to use certain aspects of each otherâ€™s technologies and networks, which is a pretty good deal for both.
Sprint said that it will still operate CDMA based 3G services in areas where its WiMax or LTE services do not penetrate.
One of the biggest issues with Sprintâ€™s LTE rollout is whether it is too late to the party. Verizon said it will rollout LTE services to 160 markets this month, while AT&T is already running LTE in five major cities. In a market where the first out of the gate usually gets the prize, Sprint has a lot of catching up to do.