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Is Sprint late with its transition to LTE?

Posted: , by Nick T.

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Is Sprint late with its transition to LTE?
Sprint made headlines today by officially announcing what we've been expecting to hear for so long, namely its plans to adopt the LTE technology. By doing so, the Now Network will likely become the third major US carrier to offer LTE connectivity to its customers, with Verizon and AT&T holding first and second spot respectively.

But if LTE and the blazing-fast internet speeds that it delivers are now a perk that Verizon uses to lure people into joining its subscriber database, the feature will not be unique to the carrier once AT&T flips the switch to its own LTE pipelines. That way, customers will have a choice if LTE holds the top spot in their priority list. And when Sprint hops on the LTE bandwagon as well, it will be more or less a step towards catching up with the big boys rather than delivering a groundbreaking technology to the masses.

That being said, it seems like Sprint is a bit late with its transition to LTE. Or would it not matter that much once Sprint deploys its LTE infrastructure and matches the competition in terms of coverage? Feel free to cast your vote in our poll below!

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Is Sprint late with its transition to LTE?
15.56%
115 votes
(115 votes) Yes! By the time Sprint starts offering LTE, AT&T and Verizon will have lured the majority of customers demanding the feature.
33.83%
250 votes
(250 votes) No! Sprint's aggressive LTE rollout will take the nation by storm and customers will have a worthy alternative to AT&T and Verizon if they demand high internet speeds.
50.61%
374 votes
(374 votes) Sprint is a bit late, but it had to hop on the LTE bandwagon sooner or later. The scale of the impact doing so will cause depends on how fast the LTE network gets unrolled.

739 votes

19 Comments
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posted on 07 Oct 2011, 11:00 4

1. Slammer (Posts: 1009; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


Sprint may be behind in offering LTE, but the network has been prepped for it since they initiated WiMAX. In a sense, Sprint is actually ahead of the game. I'm impressed with this news. Their native coverage will expand respectfully almost overnight. Their transition will also be rather quick now that the plans have been laid out.

John B.

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 11:04 1

2. jogutier (Posts: 324; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)


@ slammer, I agree to disagree. Sprint is behind on the bandwagon, but I believe they will surpass AT&T. Sprint will eventually get bought out by Verizon.

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 11:39 5

7. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4010; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


No way, Sprint is exactly what Slammer said. They will have a complete LTE network in by 2013 & if they are STILL cheaper than Verizon & AT&T then people WILL want to go to Sprint. That is not a long time at all. Plus they are making some major improvements to their 3G service as well. Also they are the only unlimited carrier out there, so that is something that makes Sprint a good alternative. If people can now start to get Sprint service inside buildings on a consistent level, then Sprint with its cheaper prices will steal some of BOTH Verizon & AT&T customers. Sprint IS sitting in a good position!

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 17:29

15. belovedson (Posts: 832; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)


you are spot on especially the part about inside the buildings on a consistent basis

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 12:13 5

8. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


sprint would never be bought out by VZW. VZW wouldnt buy them. Sprint is a high debt company. Why by someone else's debt when you can wait for them to crumble and buy the parts you want at auction? (actual VZW high up answer to me from a while back).

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 12:14 6

9. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


that said, i think sprint is in a good position. Everyone poked at Tmobile for being late to the 3g party, but instead of staying status quo, they jumped up to become the just about the fastest AND the cheapest at the same time.

Technology gets cheaper over time. VZW customers are paying for being early adopters of LTE tech, when sprint gets around to it, the tech will be much cheaper because of economies of scale.

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 11:06 1

3. ecml490 (unregistered)


Well it's better than never. And plus they won't be too behind AT&T if Sprint aggressively rolls out LTE mid-2012 as stated. So I think they made the decision in just perfect timing...

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 11:20 3

4. Slammer (Posts: 1009; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


Jogutier,

To understand the reasoning behind Sprint's 4G past and present roll out, would clearly identify why they are in many ways ahead. Verizon is clearly ahead in markets. However, Sprint built the provisions of LTE in their WiMAX network ahead before anyone. Why? It's simple. Sprint had a time frame to utilize FCC spectrum requirements. If not, Sprint would lose licensing rights. WiMAX was a ready technology at the time. LTE was not. However, realizing LTE would most likely become the standard platform, they installed the necessary hardware to accommodate LTE if or when it came to make that change. This will expedite the transition and bring it on par with VZW while also improving native coverage and efficiency across the board including building penetration.

John B.

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 14:07

11. corps1089 (Posts: 492; Member since: 20 Jan 2010)


Not even mentioning the fact that installing WiMAX was cheaper than installing LTE from the ground up...

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 11:25 1

5. skymitch89 (Posts: 1058; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)


A little bit, but better late than never. Atleast when my contract is over, they'll have a fairly good LTE coverage map and I'll be albe to upgrade to an LTE device.

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 11:31 3

6. KickRocks (Posts: 108; Member since: 22 Mar 2011)


A little late, yes but I like what I heard today............Sprint should be ok if all plans work out :) Happy to be on the Now Network

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 13:33 3

10. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1047; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)


Not really late. So far LTE phones have felt half-baked so until we start to see some great LTE phones, it's not gonna matter if the network is there or not.

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 15:54

12. nb2six (Posts: 298; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


These polls have the craziest choices. It's like filling out a quiz in Cosmo...

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 16:02 1

14. fatgurl (unregistered)


I totally agree! Even tho I'm a gurl I hate cosmo da only magazines I loolk at are playgirl when my husband is not around.

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 16:00

13. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


And android fanboys are pushing for phones with LTE now because? Oh yes, because they don't care whether they can even use LTE technology or not, they just want to feel special by having LTE on their phones just because, even when it's not widely implemented, hahahaha. But of course every android fanboy lives in a planet where LTE is already everywhere, hahahaha

posted on 08 Oct 2011, 04:21

18. p0rkguy (Posts: 683; Member since: 23 Nov 2010)


And somehow the Apple fanboy manages to sneak his way into a non-Apple post trying to enforce his Apple ways due to the fact that Apple wasn't capable of releasing the technology relating to the post.

Also, oh yes please Apple implement your Thunderbolt port please because the WHOLE world uses it. While you're at it please release a proprietary charging port because they're used all over the world. What was that advanced antenna I heard of being placed on the edges of mobile devices to enhance its signals if you can't touch it. WAIT! Make things look aesthetically pleasing and overcharge the s**t out the components for computers because so people will think they're the best in the world.

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 19:32

17. codymws (Posts: 237; Member since: 17 Jun 2010)


Sprint didn't actually make a bad move choosing to start with WiMAX, they made a bad move partnering with Clearwire. Clearwire built most of the WiMAX network, and didn't build it well enough to support the potential of WiMAX. It should be able to reach the same speeds as LTE.

Even with the switch to LTE, I don't think Sprint is going to be doing too well. Especially with how much they're spending on this new LTE network...

posted on 08 Oct 2011, 12:28

20. Forsaken77 (Posts: 547; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


I think your all forgetting the main factor here... Sprints coverage sux!!! That's the reason they're in trouble financially and why they're so far behind AT&T. Last I heard they were trying to rent an LTE network that Light Squared in building but LS is trying to fix the issue with causing gps interference. Sprint has way too many networks going on and they are all subpar, half-assed attempts. They have their own Sprint network, Wi-Max, Boost & Nextel netwoks, and now LTE. They need to dismantle WiMax and take it as a loss and switch those subs over to LTE for free. It's just costing them more money that they clearly don't have. They also need waayyy more towers to improve their coverage if they want to be relevant. In the wireless industry you get what you pay for and Sprint is trying to use their "unlimited" service to over compensate for their inferior network.

posted on 08 Oct 2011, 18:49

21. cohowap (unregistered)


Ummm, that's exactly what they are doing. They're using the 800Mhz and 1900 Mhz spectrum to expand out LTE (eventually placing thier CDMA network with LTE). Their iDEN network is non-existanct as of a bit ago (there is no longer a Nextel network to drive direct connect, this alone should free up 100's of millions for LTE investment). Moreover, thier WiMax coverage is going to be replaced with LTE coverage by 2013. On top of that, thier current deals with Clearwire (moving to LTE) and Lightsquared (LTE), on top of thier own investments, they've planned to build out a LTE network that rivals thier current CDMA network.

Moreover, in due time, Sprint will be a complete LTE network, and thier phones won't require mutiple radios draining our batteries. This approach is alot more aggresive than Verizon's was, and while they are playing catch-up on the LTE side, thier WiMax adventures will give them a head start in understanding what 4G network requires (not to mention, they've already proved upgrading WiMax to LTE was easy).

So yea, you sound like a jackass, but what you say is already the plan.

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