Sprint Will Convert Network to LTE by 2013 with 'Aggressive Rollout'
I know we typically like to stick to Verizon news here on DF, but Sprint just had a pretty major announcement today. Apparently, they are "hitting the ground running" with their planned deployment of LTE. Basically, Sprint is going to "simplify its network" by converting its 1900MHz holdings and LightSquared's 1600MHZ spectrum over to LTE, once they get FCC approval.
They plan to "aggressively rollout" this new LTE service and will have it mostly completed by 2013. WiMAX subscribers need not worry, as Sprint still plans to support that network for sometime, and in fact will still sell phones with the service next year. However, there will be great incentive for folks to eventually switch to phones that support the new LTE network as the speeds should be significantly better.
Sprint also plans to launch a “WiFi offloading technology” later this year. No details are available about this new system. Analysts predict that it will be a way to shift data use away from the mobile network onto WiFi, to help reduce network saturation after the launch of Sprint's version of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Here's a quote from Engadget with a few more details,
It really seems like Sprint is on a roll lately. They have won several awards for improved customer service and sit equal with Verizon in first place for customer service satisfaction with several consumer ratings companies. They have the cheapest plans, and the only truly unlimited data plan left. They have free roaming, and free mobile-to-mobile calls to any carrier. Now, they are rolling out their own LTE network. What do you guys think of the "Now Network" now? We were just curious if this new development would make anyone consider switching?
Beginning tomorrow, Sprint's consolidating its 4G LTE (including LightSquared), 3G and Direct Connect networks into one single architecture. All the major technical milestones, such as test calls and field integration, have cleared their hurdles and work on over 22,000 cell sites are currently in process. Samsung, Alcatel Lucent and Ericsson have partnered with Sprint to install multimode 3G and 4G base stations to handle the network's future traffic, essential for deploying the multitude of frequencies required by hosted devices. Prospective iPhone 4S users on the network will be able to take advantage of better signal strength and improved voice service as Sprint intends to also offload the latter onto 800MHz.
Source: SprintDroids via Engadget