Sprint Nationwide LTE by 2014 ?

Sprint: We Could Have Nationwide LTE By 2014
And LTE Ready Devices By Mid 2012…
It remains a very distinct possibility that Sprint will make the jump to LTE. Sprint issued an RFP exploring the migration to LTE, then announced a multi-billion dollar network overhaul that could easily pave the way for such a transition, and we’ve heard from more than one employee over the last year that Sprint absolutely will be building an LTE network despite executive smokescreens. If Sprint jumps to LTE they’re expected to make the announcement within six months. Speaking this week at the Morgan Stanley investor conference, Sprint’s president of network operations and wholesale Steve Elfman stated that once an LTE announcement is made, they could have nationwide service by the end of 2013:

Speaking at a Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom conference Wednesday, Steve Elfman, Sprint’s president of network operations and wholesale, said that the company will not make a decision regarding LTE deployment until mid-year. He added that if Sprint does decide to deploy LTE it could turn it on quickly and have LTE devices by 2012. Elfman added that the reason the company will not make a decision until mid-year is because Sprint wants to establish and announce a strategy that is still being determined by the company and its partner Clearwire, which runs a mobile WiMAX network.

Leaks have suggested this all ends with Clearwire closing their retail arm and becoming a wholesale operator, and Sprint acting as the retail arm of the relationship. The companies have previously stated that only about 20% of the hardware in the field for their current Mobile WiMax service would need to be swapped out to support LTE, which is what’s propping up Sprint’s belief they can have nationwide LTE by the end of 2013. That optimistic projection would put them right on pace with Verizon’s LTE upgrades, which are also expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

via Sprint: We Could Have Nationwide LTE By 2014 – And LTE Ready Devices By Mid 2012

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