Sprint customers have joined the modern world as the carrier officially turns on its LTE network today
in Kasnsas City and St. Joseph, Missouri and in 13 markets in Georgia and Texas. Ironically, while the carrier is among the last two of the four major U.S. mobile operators to offer LTE, it was the first to give its customers 4G connectivity using Clearwire's WiMAX network. Bob Azzi, Sprint’s senior vice president of network says that service inside brick buldings may initially lag the service available outside. Sprint will be working to fill in the gaps and eventually will match Sprint's 3G footprint in the area.
There are three handsets that Sprint has already released that have LTE capabilities. The Samsung Galaxy S III, the Samsung GALAXY Nexus and the HTC EVO 4G LTE will all work on the LTE network and automatically switch to 3G where the service is not available. Sprint has also been working to upgrade its 3G network. Azzi said that those using LTE phones will see "very fast" speeds while streaming video in LTE areas and "fast" speeds in 3G locations. Starting Monday, an interactive map will be available to show coverage of the carrier's LTE network at Sprint's website. Those still totin' WiMAX phones will continue to receive the slower 4G service from Sprint.
Verizon currently serves 304 markets with LTE service and hopes to hit over 400 by the end of the year. AT&T recently expanded its LTE footprint to reach 47 markets and hopes to complete its LTE rollout by next year. T-Mobile is currently testing an LTE network and expects to start offering service in 2013.
source: KansasCityStar via Engadget