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Sprint will move to LTE-Advanced in 2013, unlimited data is here to stay

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Sprint will move to LTE-Advanced in 2013, unlimited data is here to stay
Sprint's vice president of network development and engineering, Iyad Tarazi, said that the carrier will be having LTE-Advanced Release 10 deployed in a 10x10 setup by the first half of 2013, to take advantage of its carrier aggregation feature, and bring 12-15 Mbps download speeds on average in realistic scenarios. Unlimited data is also here to stay, Sprint clarified, noting that it will be specifically building capacity to support what it views as one of its most strategic offerings.

The launch of its LTE services will start mid-2012 using the company's 1900 MHz spectrum, and move also to the 800MHz now occupied by iDEN. Sprint said it will have 250 million to 277 million POPs covered with LTE by the end of 2013, which means it will have a bigger LTE footprint than its existing CDMA network by that time. Where are Verizon and AT&T going to be then is another matter entirely.

At least 12 LTE devices are in store for next year and although they will be using the network just for data, Voice over LTE is to come at a later date, around the first quarter of 2013. The WiMAX network provided by Clearwire will be supported in the years ahead because of contractual obligations, so those who have WiMAX devices needn't worry, although Sprint will stop selling them at the end of 2012.

If you are also concerned about the download speeds with your shiny new iPhone 4S on Sprint, Mr Tarazi confirmed that the carrier will upgrade its EV-DO network as well to support the existing 3G smartphone customers. He expects the number of small femtocells deployed to grow to more than 1 million by the first half of 2013. 

It certainly seems like Sprint is spreading itself pretty thin with so many wireless technologies to provide and support, but the ultimate goal apparently is LTE-Advanced, where Verizon and AT&T will be heading in the future too.

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posted on 26 Oct 2011, 02:52 5

1. yungmel0 (Posts: 34; Member since: 18 Jun 2011)


Another Great move by sprint!!!!

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 05:27 3

6. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)


Eh...that's a super ambitious claim. Hopefully they aren't just trying to impress stock holders. But if they are serious about LTE-Advanced then they are prepping to be a force going forward. I just wish they had gone with this instead of WiMAX. Could you imagine their network today?

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 06:52 3

9. BuckeyeCadet86 (Posts: 68; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


There are very small differences between LTE and LTE-Advanced from a technical standpoint. I personally don't believe this claim. It costs literally tens of billions of liquid dollars to do this, Sprint doesn't have a fraction of that kind of money. Had they committed to LTE in the first place they still would have a network in tatters because they haven't actually improved their network, WiMax is administered by Clearwire and Sprint just uses their network. Sprint is doing the same with LightSquared. Instead of heavily investing in their own LTE network they will rely heavily on LightSquared, this worked so great with WiMax, its in like 25 cities after 3 years?

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 07:03 7

10. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


well the reason why Sprint is no longer expanding wimax is because of LTE.. makes no sense to expand it if they will just switch to LTE right?

Then Clearwire and LightSquared if I'm not mistaken are partially owned by Sprint. So I think theres nothing wrong on using those networks and in the long run, Sprint will acquire those 2 companies in full.

I think we have to be optimistic about this because based on Sprint's track record, they say what they do and they do what they say..

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 09:25 4

16. BuckeyeCadet86 (Posts: 68; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


That does make sense why they aren't currently expanding WiMax but they didn't commit to LTE until a few months ago, they didn't expand it when they were talking about WiMax 2. They do own a part of Clearwire and have an agreement with LightSquared, but they don't own either outright and won't, Sprint's current arrangement with Clearwire will expire in 2013 or 2014 and they don't even own a small part of LightSquared. I give them props for committing to unlimted data but Verizon spent over 9 billion dollars to build out their LTE network and Sprint says it just needs 300-600 million. I don't see how they can spend 1/30th the amount and get equal coverage. I am pretty sure Sprint has no money to build this network out, especially getting the new iPhone, I know the margins on that don't break even for about a year. But I'm happy they are sticking with unlimited data and are looking ahead to LTE Advanced and not just catching up with LTE.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 10:24

18. speed4evr (Posts: 79; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Sprint does own 54% stake in Clearwire. Sprint doesnt have any stake in Lightsquared, and wont rely them. Sprint will host Lightsquared LTE network on their towers (if approved by FCC) in the 1600Mhz. Sprint is using its own 1900Mhz for LTE and 800Mhz for LTE-Advanced (2013). Having Liqhtsqaured hosting contract benefits Sprint financialy and extra spectrum, but isnt required to roll out LTE (Lightsquared has already given Sprint $290M). Sprint will spend approx $10B for Network Vision (Upgraded 1X & EvDo, LTE Network). Clearwire needs $600M for its LTE deployment and $150M-300M to maintain its Wimax network.

Here's where I got my facts.
http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/sprint-will-deploy-lte-advanced-first-half-2013/2011-10-25

http://www.bgr.com/2011/10/07/live-from-sprints-strategy-update-event/

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 14:11

26. BuckeyeCadet86 (Posts: 68; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


$10 billion dollars over six years, Verizon spends approx. $9 billion each year on their network, and say what you will about AT&T they also spend nearly $6 billion each year on network improvements. I just don't see this going anywhere near as fast as Sprint is claiming it will, especially because Sprint is relying on a wholesale LTE partner for large portions, on a network they have no control over or guarantee it will maintain the capital to implement and maintain the network. Sprint's financial situation is barely better than T-Mobile's right now and I don't see it getting any better in the near term, especially due to the fact that people now know the phone they buy now or all year next year will be obsolete (I know they aren't turning off WiMax but there is no further investment in it.) immediately after Sprint launches an LTE network. After seeing the liquidity of Sprint and their near constant exodus of post-paid customers I don't know if they will be able to make these investments. Here's hoping they do, keeping an unlimited data plan on LTE may be worth it for many people to switch and finally fill Sprint's coffers.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 11:27 1

20. remixfa (Posts: 14163; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


light squared is satillite LTE, not radio LTE. So it will give instant coverage over a wide area but that really worries me about in building coverage. I would assume that they are going to prop up towers to help that out, but who knows.

There may be a small difference in tech between the 2, but the difference in speed is phenomenal. If they can pull this off by next year and garuntee in building coverage, they will have effectively become the fastest carrier in the US if not the world.. at least until VZW upgrades their towers.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 12:52

25. speed4evr (Posts: 79; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Lightsqaured will provide services by both satellite and terrestrial (cell towers). Sprint will host their 1600Mhz spectrum on their towers and also have roaming agreement to use Sprint's 3G network.

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/sprint-confirms-9b-lte-network-hosting-deal-lightsquared/2011-07-28

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/sprint-lightsquared-can-end-network-hosting-deal-over-equipment-upgrades/2011-08-08

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 21:16

28. remixfa (Posts: 14163; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


ahh.. iknew someone would know the answer.. thanks :)

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 12:13 1

23. Goldeneye (Posts: 360; Member since: 22 Jan 2011)


funny how Sprint and ATT claim how great their LTE network will be and at the same time their 3G is been a joke for years, LTE footprint will be bigger than their current 3G, sure dream on!

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 02:31

29. JoeBobOneHalf (Posts: 8; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


Well it's simple. "Network Vision". Ericson is going to overhall their whole network (including large areas currently covered by 1X or by iDen only areas) and replacing all the towers with multimode base stations. The resultiing 1X Advance/ EvDo/LTE Advanced coverage would be at least the size of the combined cdma/iDen coverage areas.
If LightSquared works out they pretty much change a card out in the base station and lease the tower space while they roam on CDMA and Sprint "roams" on LightSquared.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 03:03 1

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


will people be patient enough for the speeds to get here

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 02:40

30. JoeBobOneHalf (Posts: 8; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


I will. I'd rather pay Sprint 80 a month and be able to use 3 or 4 gigs per month freely versus having higher quality YouTube buy limiting my ability to watch it pay 135 to Verizon. My coverage is great, my internet is fast enough for what I need out of it (web, streaming, downloading apps, email, and talking my face off). Just sayin'.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 04:19 1

3. Mr.Mr.Upgrade (Posts: 425; Member since: 30 Aug 2011)


3 best phone company but number 1 joke , Sprint, needs to quit selling phones, they garbage

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 04:26 1

4. roscuthiii (Posts: 1873; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


I wish Sprint luck in that endeavor... I just don't see them pulling it off. Bound to be a hitch along the way,

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 04:34 1

5. Scuba_Steve (Posts: 79; Member since: 16 Oct 2011)


I'd hate to see the throttle speeds if they do get more customers using unlimited data.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 07:04 2

11. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


that might happen, when the dove turns black and the crows turn white..

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 06:02

7. akhi216 (Posts: 61; Member since: 01 May 2011)


When the jesusPhone 5 (iPhone 5) gets released next year with LTE on Sprint, the brainwashed jesusPhone fanatics who have been hypnotized by the hidden messages in the Retina Display on the iPhone 4/4S will jump all over the "opportunity" to have unlimited data on it. Sprint being too cheap to carry out it's plan will not have built enough towers to support the influx of the Retina Display brainwashed masses to maintain a data speed of over 1 mbps down 0.5 mbps up. As a result, jesusPhone 5s at Sprint will be returned in two days and unhappy brainwashed iOS fanatics will realize that unlimited data on their precious jesusPhone on Sprint is an illusion, and they will get started a class-action lawsuit for advertising those speeds and not being able to provide them. Then Sprint, who will be losing customers, will kill the unlimited data plan knowing that there will be jesusPhone freaks who will stay on their crappy network and pay overage fees.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 09:30 2

17. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


i believe Androids are more of a data hogger than iPhones.. so having iPhones on the Sprint network wont really hurt.

and if Sprint will loose customers, it means less traffic on data. so theres no reason to remove unlimited data..

so that makes you no sense..

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 06:30 1

8. Carlitos (Posts: 351; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Mot trying g to be a troll, but didn't sprint say it was going to start rolling out LTE agresively mid 2012, now its 2013?

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 08:43

13. scvzw2 (Posts: 32; Member since: 20 Jun 2010)


If you read the article LTE will roll out mid 2012, LTE-Advance is what they are talking about rolling out in 2013..

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 15:37

27. Carlitos (Posts: 351; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


ok ty

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 08:17

12. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3042; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


There's a difference between LTE and LTE advanced but I def see your point.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 09:03 3

14. Tottenham (Posts: 86; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)


I would like to believe that if Sprint sticks to its promise of keeping data (on their smart phones) unlimited, once it gets its LTE widely dispersed that VZW and ATT will need to retink their positon on the matter.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 09:14 1

15. mrmarina (Posts: 3; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


It all sounds good, but so did 4G Wimax two years ago. Still waiting for the promised service that I will never get. Now Sprint has basically come out and is telling me not to upgrade my four year old phone until mid 2012? Why would anyone not in a Wimax area upgrade their phone right now? And you have to feel sorry for all those I4s suckers who will regret buying a 3G phone this late in the cycle.

I don't care if I don't get LTE service for another year or longer, but at least offer me an LTE phone in the meantime before I lose my patience and jump ship.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 10:52

19. snowgator (Posts: 3293; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Man, you would hope Sprint is planning to help it's customer base to move to LTE devices from WiMaxx. I mean, really, as they change to LTE to compete better, they wouldn't be dumb enough not to plan to entice their present customers to stay, right?

I mean, right? You aren't dumb, are you, Mr. Hess?

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 11:31 1

21. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 645; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Funny story, company bets farm on in between technology and well it under performs and severely outclassed and out stripped by company who decided to build on tech that will actually be used in the future and is upgradeable. Sprint sounds like it's spreading itself thin, I can't see this working out well in the end. They have WiMax which for lack of a better word is; lacking! WiMax rolled out before Verizon's LTE and for some reason Verizon's LTE has a much larger footprint. Now Sprint was talking WiMax 2, and now it has changed to LTE roll out in 2012 and LTE Advanced in 2013...given the fact that these guys can barely roll out of bed I wouldn't be holding my breath on LTE Adv rolling out as quickly as they are claiming will.

T-Mobile has the pretty speedy and stable HSPA+ or whatever it's called, but they are almost done being sold to At&T and AT&T will divest some of it's cell coverage and such to the little guys who are compatible. That leaves Sprint on it's own to tussle with the likes of AT&T and Verizon and both of these giants have serious agendas and one is already aggressively deploying. It's a wait and see approach, I have never had a Sprint phone but I have two buddies that have Sprint and I can't say I am impressed.

Unlimited data here to stay is utter garbage, if anyone believes these lies they are gullible and I have a bucket of air to sell them at $1 lb.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 11:47 1

22. downphoenix (Posts: 2415; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


LTE isnt that big of a deal to me. I would rather have all you can eat data at ~DSL speeds than have fast data ~Cable/Fiber and blow through my monthly cap with a couple hours of youtube vids like I would on Verizon.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 12:41 1

24. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3042; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Downphoenix believe it or not but some internet providers cap your data use and make it slow as hell if you go over a certain amount. And that amount is way less than you might think.

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