Sprint to use its 800MHz iDEN spectrum for LTE

Sprint to use its 800MHz iDEN spectrum for LTE
Sprint operations president Steve Elfman told Fierce Wireless that the carrier will be reallocating its 800MHz spectrum, which it currently uses for its iDEN standard and PTT service, for 4G LTE use. By the end of this year, Sprint is expecting to cover 123 million potential customers with its LTE signal and that figure should double in 2013. Elfman says that Sprint has received its 3GPP certification for Band Class 26 to use its 800 MHz spectrum for LTE. FCC documentation by two upcoming LTE enabled Sprint handsets, the Samsung GALAXY Nexus and the HTC EVO 4G LTE both mentioned that they would be using LTE Band 26.

According to Elfman, Sprint still needs to move its iDEN service to another spectrum block. The number of its customers using a PTT device has dropped from a peak of 20 million to the current 6 million and the carrier is planning on moving the remaining iDEN users to spectrum currently used by its CDMA service. In making the reallocation, Sprint will be reducing the number of iDEN cell sites by 33% to 19,600. The reallocation is expected to be finished by 2014, according to the nation's third largest carrier.

Before Sprint can start using the 800MHz spectrum for LTE, it will still have to get approval from the FCC according to the carrier's senior vice president of networks, Bob Azzi. Azzi says the process has started and should move along smoothly.

source: FierceWireless



27. MikeWatson11

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 07, 2012

Just a thought, does anybody here know if Sprint will even come out with an update if and when the 4G LTE comes out because i too have the photon

24. VZWpino

Posts: 5; Member since: Apr 04, 2012

I'm a little confused. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but several years ago, didn't the FCC tell Sprint/Boost Mobile that all their customers using the iDen network would eventually have to switch to CDMA, such as the CDMA PTT that VZW tried to push, but failed on... due to the fact that the FCC wanted to keep that spectrum clear for 911 & Emergency use only??? If so, then why they planning on bumping those current customers off to use for LTE?

25. IcanBEATali

Posts: 29; Member since: Sep 24, 2009

Verizon PTT is lightyears behind Sprint's CDMA PTT... which they call high performance push to talk. Verizon had the equivalent of the old sprint ready link garbage. Off topic, but there are major differences in performance.

26. audiblenarcotic

Posts: 114; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Years ago the FCC and Nextel did a spectrum swap in which Nextel gave up some, but not all, of their 800Mhz spectrum for a significant chunk of the 2.5Ghz spectrum that Sprint currently uses for thier WiMax network. They still have a pretty good amount of 800Mhz spectrum left that iDen is currently running on. Side note for all the Sprint haters that bash their decision to use WiMax... This spectrum swap came along with a dealine in which they had to use the 2.5Ghz spectrum of they would have to forfeit it. As the deadline approached WiMax was ready and LTE was not. This is why Sprint bothered to use WiMax in the first place... if they didn't then they would have lost all of this spectrum.

23. Forsaken77

Posts: 553; Member since: Jun 09, 2011

Sprints iDen network has crap coverage now and they're taking away 33% of the towers for it??!!! Alot of people use Nextel devices for work, I'm one of them. Like they said, there's still 6 million people using them and they're just gonna pull out 1/3 of the towers? That's messed up Sprint. That's gonna affect mostly business customers. Residential subs don't use Nextels anymore. Can't remember the last time I saw someone rockin one of those.

20. ScelesticSteve

Posts: 26; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I'm glad Sprint is getting on the ball. AT&T might be a little behind Verizon as far as LTE deployment goes, but if you look at the coverage it shows. Unless it's a huge area like NYC, Verizon only deploys a few towers a time for a very small LTE coverage area. If you look at AT&T's LTE coverage area, they deploy several towers at one time. Meaning the LTE coverage area for that market is pretty broad. I guess there's the difference. It's all about numbers. Verizon has 100+ markets with LTE and AT&T has 30+. Even though Verizon employs small areas and AT&T for the most part do not.

9. VinCrel

Posts: 39; Member since: Dec 26, 2011

sprint is planning to convert all of its towers to become a multimode tower. Previously they have towers all over the place for a specific spectrum only. They currently use the 800Mhz for iDen, 1.9Ghz for CDMA, and the 2.5Ghz for the 4G. they have towers to cater to only one type of frequency. Now, they are planning to consolidate all of those three frequencies to be transmitted by only one tower. Where previously there are only good iDen coverage, and no CDMA coverage, will have both as they are going to use every one of the towers and have them to transmit all three frequencies. Now, these are all good in theory but will they work in the field?

10. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

Knowing Sprint, I smell frequent outages. lol

17. rendHELL

Posts: 304; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

lol... hahaha

8. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

Better to build their own LTE network than to just get a wholesale from a 3rd party company like Clearwire and LightSquared. They might spend a lot at the beggining but in the long run they are saving money.

4. thelegend6657 unregistered

Isnt it great that AT&T customers can have 2 4gs Hspa+ and LTE . I know LTE is a more advanced technology but In case it got out of range I can fall back to HSPA+ networks So can I use both WiMAX and LTE on those new sprint phones ?

5. bigdawg23

Posts: 467; Member since: May 25, 2011

No phones will contain LTE and Wimax. So they will be like Verizon LTE back to 3G . Verizon may have LTE in 200 Cites but the foot print is small in a lot of those cities.

12. dunta31

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Some people should do there research before they speak bc I stay in Atlanta,ga and I have the photon and its LTE and wimax and how do I know that bc its up and running here so you can do both with the photon so good job sprint.

13. threeline

Posts: 325; Member since: Sep 11, 2011

Your Photon is not WiMax and LTE. Your soorly misinformed. How can you get LTE in ATL when Sprint hasn't even flipped the LTE switch in any city?

18. dunta31

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Like I said do your research before you speak and it is up we test it today and they are running test on lte here so thats how we found out and Like I said go do your dam research and I bet you will be one of those poeple trying to get one.

21. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

HAHAHA you sir are an idiot!


Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Atlanta, Boston Baltimore were slated to come live and were suppose to have many areas done. He may be correct ok. I don't know about LTE photon, but other wise I wouldn't be fast to discredit him Besides LTE is flipped on in a city in Kansa for testing purposes already!

14. Gcombs

Posts: 136; Member since: Aug 22, 2011

I did my research and the Photon has a WiMax radio not LTE.

19. dunta31

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Motorola Photon has a LTE chip installed into the phone so there is no way that you have done your research buddy and all you have to do is call motorola or come on down to atlanta and you will find out bc I no that it works on both lte and wimax buddy so do your research before you talk.

28. Gcombs

Posts: 136; Member since: Aug 22, 2011

Like previously stated I've done my research and the Phonton has a WiMax radio not LTE. The info that dha_george posted is the same info I got on the Phonton no mention of LTE.

16. dha_george

Posts: 54; Member since: Jan 27, 2010

GENERAL 4G ANDROIDâ„¢ PLATFORM Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) MULTIPLE NETWORKS Worldphone - WiMAX 2500, CDMA 800/1900, WCDMA 850/1900/2100, GSM 850/900/1800/1900TOUCH TABLET these are the spec i copied and pasted from motorola's web site and guess what no mention of LTE.

2. Yankchef

Posts: 76; Member since: Feb 03, 2012

Either way im stuck in 3g with my photon for over a year

3. Thrashernut

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Let me be the first to tell you about a great website called "Craigslist"...

6. theBankRobber

Posts: 682; Member since: Sep 22, 2011

The Photon hasn't been out a whole year lol

11. jamrockjones

Posts: 345; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Ya, but 4G won't be in his area for over a year, that's what I think he's talking about. It wouldn't matter anyway though, your Photon works off of WiMax and not LTE.

15. theBankRobber

Posts: 682; Member since: Sep 22, 2011

Yea I have wimax in my area, and once I go inside my house.....Poof.... its gone. All 3 bars. :( how sad but I have wifi to use.

1. tigermcm

Posts: 861; Member since: Sep 02, 2009

so would this be better than the whole lightsquare or clearwire 4g that they were trying to do?


Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Light squared was suppose to have been started implemented LTE service. Sprint is behind because of this failure. This news is so old it has been covered on 4GSRU for a VERY long time. Expect LTE to start in June in major markets, and finish in minor markets by October or there about. Clear wire at some point in the future will roll out 25mhz LTE which is supposed to be a really strong signal that even is alleged to penetrate buildings I think. EVO One X 4G LTE, Viper, Galaxy Nexus, launching next week....stay tuned

29. WKlingbeil

Posts: 215; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

Yes tiger, this would be much better than either lightsquared or clearwire because of the frequency they're using. 800 MHz is able to penetrate walls better, and gives a longer radius than Clear and Lightsquared's spectrum holdings (both around the 2GHz frequency). Verizon uses an 800 MHz spectrum for their voice services, which is why they tend to have more solid coverage within their coverage areas. Sprint uses the 2.5GHz for their WiMax, and anyone with experience with that will tell you the coverage is like swiss cheese because of that frequency. They don't have nearly as much spectrum within that frequency as Lightsquared or Clear have in theirs, but that's a problem that will need to be dealt with once they're having latency issues.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless