Sprint

The rumors were true, folks. Sprint's going LTE with LightSquared in a 15-year deal. It sounds a little backward, but the gist is this: LightSquared's going to pay Sprint around $9 billion in cash over 11 years, and in exchange Sprint gets up to 50 percent of LightSquared's "L-Band" LTE spectrum through credits.

LightSquared comes out ahead, too, lowering its operating costs and network capital by more than $13 billion over the next eight years by making use of Sprint's infrastructure. LightSquared also will provide 3G roaming for Sprint.

So when can you see an LTE smartphone on Sprint? That's still going to be a while, with LightSquared's first 4G markets (which weren't disclosed) not going online until 2012. So, for now, it's still WiMax. LightSquared's expects to complete its nationwide 4G rollout in 2014.

Also, Sprint this morning announced its Q2 2011 earnings, noting revenues of $8.3 billion, and a net loss of $847 million

Press releases: Sprint 1, 2; LightSquared

 

Reader comments

Sprint announces Q2 earnings, LTE data deal with LightSquared

38 Comments

So should I not buy another wimax phone and wait for lte? I was ooking at the photon and the smasung galaxy 2.

Sprint's LTE network is still a few years off.... Get whatever phone you want to get now... I'm personally waiting for the GS2 to upgrade my evo... the Photon is pretty solid if you don't mind Blur

I am personally waiting for the nexus 3. I had the evo 3d for about 2 days and didn't like it. But I like playing around with roms and like stock vanilla android. I own the evo 4g now. I works good and want to spend the big bucks on a worthy upgrade. Like dual core and a 1gb of ram. Seeing that you are coming from the pre. I would say its time for an upgrade. Plus sprint won't have a handset for lte until its lte network is the same size as its wimax. I would say you have 2 years, if not more.

Plus the evo 4g is 100 bucks right now! ;)

Buy a WiMax phone if you're staying with Sprint. Their LTE network won't be up in earnest for 2 years, with the complete build not finished for 3. You'll want a new phone by then, anyway.

I totally agree!! Wimax is great in my area so I'll still get great 4G speeds until LTE gets rolled out!!! Its a win win situation!

Isn't lightsquared basing their system on about 4K towers that may not obtain approval to build due to their interferrence with GPS?

So far, all GPS manufacurers, pilots, military, farmers (they use GPS for planting), John Deere and a few other giant corporations and entities are fighting the approval of these towers with the FCC.

Just curious if they are denied these towers, what will be the alternative?

By using Sprint's spectrum, that should alleviate a lot of the previous issues they were having. I would imagine LTE running on the 800 mhz spectrum.

I'm still gonna upgrade to the Photon when it comes out. The article stated that LTE won't be in full effect until 2014.

...Better late than never?

By the time they get a decent small footprint Verizon will be complete or near complete with LTE, and I imagine AT&T will be a good ways running too. That will have to hurt down the line, Sprint you have some catching up to do...

Wrong, because Sprint will *also* still have their WiMax footprint, also. Plus they will even be expanding their 3G footprint even more.

Looks like a good plan to me.

If you are on a yearly upgrade, no reason to wait, upgrade now or soon and MAYBE your next phone is LTW.

"LightSquared's going to pay Sprint around $9 billion in cash over 11 years, and in exchange Sprint gets up to 50 percent of LightSquared's "L-Band" LTE spectrum through credits."

No, that's not true at all. LightSquared will pay Sprint $9 billion in cash and $4.5 billion in "store credit". In exchange, Sprint do the actual work of installing and running Lightsquared's LTE network for them (using LightSquared spectrum). Sprint has the OPPORTUNITY to buy 50% of "L-Band" capacity (not spectrum) in the future, and they can apply their "store credit" to that purchase. This doesn't guarantee that Sprint will move their own customers to LTE, it just means that it will be a lot cheaper for them to do so if they want, since they already have a $4.5 billion credit.

"LightSquared also will provide 3G roaming for Sprint."

That's backwards too. Sprint will provide 3G roaming for LightSquared customers, and

I have to wonder what this could mean for Virgin Mobile. It'd be nice if the coverage expanded a bit. For the most part, its pretty good in major cities but not very good in rural areas or apparently New England.

You all missed the most important statistic. Sprint lost how much money? $847 million?! O_o America's friendliest network won't be able to sustain these unlimited cheap rates, it they'll die.

It has been speculated that the LTE announcement was what Dan Hesse was going to announce this fall. Does this mean there is another announcement or did they just announced this early?

I don't think this can be read as a guarantee you'll get Sprint LTE next year, only that it's possible as the frequency is set up and available. It's up to Sprint to determine when certain markets will get LTE, just as it is with Verizon right now. Interesting info, nonetheless.

Okay I just checked the frequency range for the L-band and it's between 40 and 60 Ghz. That's a little higher than the wimax range of 2.3, 2.5 and 3.5 Ghz. And I thought my 4G coverage indoors was bad now. With that frequency will you have to be in light of sight range of a tower to get an LTE signal?

Guys don't get too happy yet. As lte for sprint may mean the end of unlimited data. They probably will be still cheaper than vzw or at&t but not unlimited anymore. Im guessing 2013 or mid 2012 this will happen

Not to change the subject but Sprint going thru these 4G changes and the proposed T-Mobile buy out will destroy Sprint. If The T-Mobile buy out is pushed thru, customers will have to choose Verizon (LTE) or AT&T (HSPA+ if you can find it and start up LTE). Sprint will be the low man on the totem pole and IMO customers will choose Verizon or AT&T. Sprint will get screwed if the T-Mobile deal is pushed thru. Why choose Sprint and their current Wimax 4G service which is getting fazed out. All Wimax phones will become paper weights as will the T-Mobile phones. Sprint is a great company and if you are in their area you can not get a better deal. This T-Mobile deal can not go thru if Sprint wants to stay relevant in this country.

What you choose now in a phone has no bearing, whatsoever, to what Sprint is doing with 4G years from now. Do you really think anyone keeps smartphones for more than a few years???

If Sprint keeps wimax going while they introduce LTE, it will be a great day for Sprint loyalist. I live in the 4th largest city in the US so 4G coverage on any network is not a problem for me.
If Sprint keeps both technologies going its going to be some very fast data speeds here, do to less congestion on both bands.

SWEET!!!!!!!!

Maybe, but just because it has the antenna doesn't mean the radio is powerful enough to bring down those super speeds.

After losing over $800 million, the only thing keeping Sprint afloat is the Lighsquared Deal and the NASCAR deal. Whenever that expires, it won't be looking good. . That's why it was announced before the financial results.

And yea. "Unlimited Everything's" days are numbered at Sprint. After AT&T wins the T-Mobile deal, the party will be over at Sprint, especially when the iPhone finally arrives there....