July 16, 2012

Sprint 4G LTE Now Available In 15 Cities

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

This crazy 4G fad might be here to stay. Today, Sprint´s new 4G LTE network is available to 15 new cities across the South and Midwest.

Sprint was the first to launch a 4G network in the U.S. with their WiMAX brand of 4G, though complications in rolling out this network caused Sprint to go back to the drawing board and scratch the rollout, developing their own LTE network. Now, Sprint has to play catch up with front runners Verizon and AT&T.

These 15 cities are concentrated in Georgia and Texas, as well as Sprint´s hometown, Kansas City. Starting today, Sprint users in Dallas, Fort Worth, Granbury-Hood County, Houston, Huntsville, San Antonio, and Waco, Texas can access the new 4G LTE network. In Georgia, the new network has been rolled out to Atlanta, Athens, Calhoun, Carrollton, Newnan, and Rome. Kansas City, Missouri as well as Kansas City, Kansas are also included in the lists, as is St. Joseph, Missouri.

WiMAX is still functional, though it has not been widely adopted by other mobile service providers. Sprint later decided to roll out their own LTE network rather than continue to push their WiMAX network. Now that they´re a little late to the LTE game, they´ll have to fight uphill to beat out AT&T and Verizon´s LTE networks.

For instance, Verizon launched its network in 2010 and has rolled it out to 304 cities across America. AT&T, on the other hand, rolled out their next-generation network earlier this year to 47 cities.

Big Yellow plans to make great strides in their rollout by re-farming their existing spectrum and reusing their 3G towers to deploy their LTE network.

They´ve also said they´ll launch their LTE network in even more cities in the latter half of 2012 and plans to have the rollout complete by 2013. In addition to rolling out a new network, they´ll also improve their existing 3G networks. In the end, Sprint says their network will be stronger, more reliable, faster and available in more areas, all the things mobile users look for in a network.

“This new network is performing extremely well and customers should find it consistent, reliable and really fast,” says Sprint´s presser.

One way Sprint hopes to gain some ground against the LTE leaders is through their data packages. Unlike the other nationwide wireless operators, Sprint has stubbornly left their “Truly Unlimited” data plans in tact. They were also granted the permission (or rather, bought the permission) to sell the iPhone 4S last year, a major point in the win column for the struggling company.

Sprint´s CEO continues to bet big on the iPhone as their life raft. Speaking with CNET last April, Dan Hesse said his company would continue to offer unlimited 4G LTE data plans, even if the next iPhone is 4G compatible (and it likely will be.)

"I'm not anticipating the unlimited plan would change by that point," said Hesse. “That's our distinctive differentiator."

"Frankly, it's a marriage made in heaven. We're clearly attracting customers from our competitors."

For those who aren´t interested in a 4G compatible iPhone, Sprint is offering 5 4G LTE compatible devices: The caps-heavy HTC EVO 4G LTE, the LG Viper 4G LTE, and the popular Samsung Galaxy S III.