Sprint

We're knee deep into Sprint's "Strategy/Network" update. The big (yet unsurprising) news is that, yes, it's moving to LTE. It'll be run on Sprint's 1900 MHz spectrum, with other spectrum to follow, including LightSquared's 1600MHz spectrum.

The first markets and devices are expected to be available in mid-2012.

Wimax devices, like the HTC EVO 4G, EVO 3D, Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, and others, will continue to be sold through 2012.

Sprint's Direct Connect service, which is replacing iDEN, launched last week. It's got broader coverage, and migrations are expected to be complete by mid-2013.

Developing ...

 

Reader comments

Sprint to roll out LTE in mid-2012

130 Comments

Well about the time the epic touch is a year old it will be time for a upgrade anyway.
1st time being first. Ha

"Like we have done with the EVO franchise, we plan to continue playing a key role in delivering iconic LTE devices to Sprint customers."

My upgrade will be avaialable in July of 2012, so this could work. I can only hope there will be an LTE EVO device with TOL specs. Upgrading to that from an OG EVO would be awesome.

Does Sprint not own any lower frequency spectrum? Isn't that their current "problem" with Wimax, in that it is so high frequency it has problem penetrating buildings?

IIRC, both Verizon & ATT are using LTE in the 700mhz range.

Yes, the 1900MHz is crap anyway. It won't be until they start using LS 1600MHz that it starts to become reasonable, and not until they start using iDEN spectrum a year later that it starts to equal VZW.

Lightsquared and Clearwire are both broadband companies, not wireless companies. high MHz allows them to cover more area, but it is not so good for Sprint customers going in and out of buildings on their phones. WiMax can come in REALLY handy sometimes, but a lot of the time it is pretty useless and not worth the trouble.

When I went to Vegas I thought it would be WiMax heaven. It was terrible. I never got a connection anywhere, but the 3G was actually pretty fast.

LOL. Yep Vegas was terrible for 4G and I was at the Luxor without any Wi-Fi. If I could grab 1 bar of 4G that was it.

If they're rolling out LTE and still selling WiMax, what's going to happen to WiMax at the end of 2012? No more growth? Guess when I do my last upgrade (since they're gone with the premier yearly's), I'll have to watch for an LTE device. Maybe this one will make it to my neighborhood.

WiMax hasn't been growing for a while now. When is the last time they have sent out a press release of new markets getting WiMax? They haven't been.

I would be pissed if I had gotten a WiMax phone w/ them & had been paying the $10/mo premium w/ the promise that I would be getting WiMax "soon" to now be told that I never will & them starting completely over w/ a 4G rollout to the larger markets first all over again.

Sprint sure screwed the pooch w/ that decision to go w/ WiMax in the first place.

Yep, I'm one of them...and yep, I'm pissed. We've been hearing 4G is coming 'in a month' since December of 2010.

Exactly! Can you say Detroit, Michigan?...Was screwed for a whole year and for what?, subpar 3G and empty promises??...Sprint owes me restitution!!

Detroit should be one of the FIRST cities turned on with their LTE.

But hell, by then they'll have iPhones and no more unlimited data so LTE won't be a big deal by then...

Why would anyone put a lot of money into a city that's shrinking at the speed Detroit is? I'm not trying to be harsh, but that's a sure-fire way to lose money. Plus, the city has an unemployment rate of what? 20%? You've lost more than 100K people MORE than New Orleans after Katrina. 20% of your city is vacant. That just doesn't seem like a recipe for a company to sink millions into infrastructure over, when there are other places that are more financially stable.

Thank you! And what some people here fail to realize is that while the city itself may be shrinking, the suburbs are alive and kicking!

The $10/mo fee is for smart phone use and not for WiMax.

We STILL don't have WiMax in our almost 2 million person area. It will be interesting to see if they start the LTE rollout in the areas that do not have WiMax FIRST. That would be more "fair", but it might not make business sense.

You're right in the fact that they are no longer putting out press releases about new WiMax locations but they are still expanding. I occasionally check several areas on Clear's website and have noticed not only network expansion but also new towns nearby getting it. So they are still deploying in some new areas but for unknown reasons they are not advertising it.

Sprint was smart enough not to tie the $10 "premium data fee" exclusively to their 4G rollout, for if they did they're almost certainly be a class-action lawsuit brewing. Like many early EVO adopters, I have a 4G-capable device and no 4G service closer than a 45 minute drive, but, YEP, I'm a paying that $10 per month fee. Weeeeuuuwww!

I wonder if they'll be selling tri-band devices (3G, WiMax, LTE) at mid-year or simply going one technology over another right from the start.

Tri-band devices that they are calling Multi-Mode will not happen they said. Only Mobile Hotspot device will be triband Multi-Mode.

Too little too late. I will be rocking my Nexus Prime on Verizon long before sprint ever gets this going.

On another note, they mentioned that they are already building their LTE network on their 1900 mhz band and have been working on it for over 6 months. I find that statement very interesting because it was right about 6 months ago that my data speeds went from 1-3mbs down to 500k or less. Now it all makes perfect sense why sprints 3G network is so bad right now.

That phone will be out of date and the next nexus phone will be right on the horizon by then.

Great... more Sprint 4G news that it won't penetrate buildings. Awesome job Sprint! You really need to test your stuff in Hurricane proof buildings like we have here in Florida.

You seem to have missed the part where they're phasing out iDEN and using that penetrating 800MHz spectrum for LTE.

Not according to Engadget's summary of the same speech:

"Helping the operator make that transition is the swath of 800MHz spectrum it reclaimed from the, now defunct, iDEN push-to-talk network -- which had been a drain on the company's resources. This spectrum, acquired from Nextel, will be phased out by mid-2013 and rolled into LTE"

You do know that Sprint's CDMA runs at 1900Mhz? Have you heard of any penetration problems with Sprint's 3G? I never have.

Between this and the iphone pre-orders, no wonder I was on hold for an hour before I finally gave up!

This news, more than the iPhone to Sprint news, makes me understand the timing of the elimination of Premiere and the new 22-month upgrade period: with the launch of the LTE devices (which logically would coincide with the release of some amazing must-have mobile devices), the vast majority of current Sprint users wouldn't be eligible for a subsidized upgrade thus creating a potentially strong device sales revenue stream for Sprint.

Actually, they moved from a 22 month upgrade cycle to 20 months, which is consistent with Verizon's upgrade cycle.

So it is still going to have horse shit building penetration then? Great... My 4G phone now is fast and all if I am humping the windows in my building. The second I walk 5 feet in I lose connection. I am in the heart of a 4G area as well.(Minneapolis) LTE could be 500MBps download speed and it doesn't matter if you are constantly losing connection. They should have put it on their 800mhz spectrum. 1900mhz will still be crap if you are inside.

If it wasn't for the cheapest most simple plan without a data cap I would be history from Sprint. They better hope they don't change much in the way of pricing or data because I am guessing I am not alone when I say I will be gone in a heartbeat if they ever decide to go even with the competition.

They are going to put the LTE on 800MHz eventually after iDEN is shut down(I don't think they'll give it another reprieve this time).

From Engadget's summary of the same speech:

"Helping the operator make that transition is the swath of 800MHz spectrum it reclaimed from the, now defunct, iDEN push-to-talk network -- which had been a drain on the company's resources. This spectrum, acquired from Nextel, will be phased out by mid-2013 and rolled into LTE"

Why do think Sprint is getting rid of Iden? Just because, no it has been common knowledge to anyone who follows this stuff that Sprint is phasing out Iden to build out their own LTE network. Instead of repeatedly asking for sources why don't you do some research yourself? You obviously have a computer in front of you that you know how to use.

800 isn't going LTE! It's going to CDMA!!!

Right now, iDen is at 800MHZ and CDMA at 1900MHZ. Sprint is killing iDen and with that, CDMA Advance will move to 800MHZ. Reasons are simple... 1st, there isn't enough spectrum there decent LTE speeds. 2nd, Sprint, started this year, selling phones 800MHZ CDMA capable phones. Look at the EVO 3D. 3rd, if Sprint use their 800 and 1900mhz bands for LTE, how would we make voice calls on any of the existing CDMA phones, since there's wouldn't be any CDMA service?

Sprint's plan is simple... Move their 1900MHZ CDMA to 800MHZ for CDMA with their new direct connect service, then to use their current 1900MHZ band for LTE. Yes, I know they said they could use LQ's 1600MHZ band for LTE, but for now, that's only a dream because of GPS interference...

Eventually, Sprint could use all their spectrum for LTE, but they can't do that until voice over LTE is up to snuff and they get their customers to replace all the CDMA phones with VoLTE phones.

How many EEs do we have here? You guys realize that ATT/TMobile all operate their 3g around the ~1900 mhz band?

T-Mobile's 3G is not 1900 MHz. They use AWS 1700/2100 MHz for 3G HSPA and 4G HSPA+. T-Mobile's 1900 MHz is just GSM, GPRS, and EDGE. I may be wrong as I think they may have HSDPA on 1900 so then you would be right.

In any case I think it unfair to categorize AT&T's 3G as 1900 MHz....since it is both 800 MHz and 1900 MHz.

Are the phone manufacturers (especially Apple) pushing for everyone to be on LTE so that they don't have to develop multiple sets of devices?

I don't really understand Sprint's desire to move to LTE other than putting themselves in line to get access to handsets developed for Verizon... e.g. the iPhone.

Tweaking a handset to support LTE on frequency X vs frequency Y is trivial compared to supporting WIMAX vs LTE.

I still don't understand why Sprint feels the need to support LTE.

LTE is faster than WiMax. Sprint pointed out that the cost of LTE deployment and maintenance will be lower than WiMax by mid-2012 (so it is a financial decision too). LTE is the best technology for their 800 MHz that is now used by iDEN. Having LTE will ensure that they continue to get the best phones from manufactures at the best price. The only reason they choose WiMax is because LTE wasn't ready and they wanted to be first with 4G. Even if LTE had been ready they didn't have the bandwidth to deploy LTE back then. LTE rollout will begin slowly on 1900 MHz at the cost of hampering the 3G network (they aren't telling you this but it is obvious).

This is part of why I just switched to T-Mobile after being with Sprint for the past 8 years. My wimax phone was never going to see wimax in my area.

They will *probably* keep WiMax towers operating for a while even after LTE starts, but it's anyone's guess, really.

WiMax will still be around, at least as long as Clearwire avoids bankruptcy.

Besides, they kept iDen around this long, I'm sure they'll support WiMax just as much.

I'm hoping they do something smart like add LTE chips to upcoming Evo 3D refreshes, and then let owners trade in their old 3Ds for a Wimax/LTE capable one.

I seriously doubt it, but it would be nice.

Sprint said in their presentation that there will never be a WiMax/LTE handset. Only WiFi Mobile Hotspot devices will have both WiMax and LTE.

It'll still work. Otherwise, they would have to replace everyone's wimax device with an LTE device.

What they said was that they don't have a contract/commitment beyond 2012. But they will eventually extend the agreement. It's all about the pricing.

It is my understanding that Sprint plans to eventually have multi-mode chip sets (CDMA,WImax,LTE,etc) in their phones that can automatically choose the best frequency for their current location. That means based on signal strength and service use, the phone can determine which to use. For example, a phone call can be made on CDMA while at the same time, if the user is browsing the internet, can use either Wimax or LTE, whichever the phone realizes has the best signal coverage.

Do you have any idea on how badly that will drain the battery?

My only (well main) complaint is that where coverage is poor, Sprint phones will lock onto Sprints signal or keep trying to even when roaming. When I had a Razor , this drained the heck out of the battery. Same thing on my BB Curve. In the last few months, I have noticed the roaming triangle many times and roaming data in areas where Sprint is supposed to have great coverage.

I'm getting a bit tired of waiting for better coverage.

Sprint said in their presentation that there will never be a WiMax/LTE handset. Only WiFi Mobile Hotspot devices will have both WiMax and LTE.

Well,

I am a few months away from an upgrade. I have an EVO 4G. I would like a new phone. Looking at the Samsung SII (or whatever it is called. Looking at the Motorola Photon. I like the Droid Bionic, but $299 with contract is a bit much for a phone.

Why would anyone lock themselves in with a 2 year contract on a wimax phone, when LTE is 8-9 months away? I went to the Sprint Website today (and unlike ATT) Sprint is not allowing early upgrades to the new Apple iPhone (yes I am am thinking about this devise).

I guess I will see what the Nexus Prime will offer and on what carrier before making a decision.

Because some of us never got WiMax in the first place and it will probably be at least another 2 years before we see LTE... might as well enjoy a new toy while we wait.

So you have a 4G device and you are considering the iPhone 4S? ...Interesting! Do you realize that the iPhone 4S is only 4G on AT&T (HSPA+) and that on Verizon and Sprint the iPhone is only a 3G device?

The biggest potential news out of this announcement was mentioned in the Engadget summary:

"planned implementation of WiFi offloading should help to cut congestion by 20 percent"

Does this mean that we will get T-mobile-style wifi calling on Sprint?

If we do, that would be TOTALLY AWESOME and reduce the strain on the battery. Heck, I can't use WiMax on my EVO anyway due to spotty WiMax coverage in Atlanta, but that won't matter with the iPhone S. 3G is fast enough for me anyway.

From Phandroid:

"As for other stuff, they’ve confirmed that they will be rolling out WiFi calling support starting this month. Very little devices are supported right now but we know the HTC EVO 3D has that functionality."

So...sounds like it. :)

So, will that iPhone 4S I'm getting in December still work for the two years of the contract next year and year after??

Well, I guess I'll never need to turn on 4g on my Photon. No 4G (Wimax) in my area, apparently ever, so that $10 'advanced devices' fee is really just a 'donation' to Dan H. Nice.

Just when I was feeling really good about being a Sprint customer, lots of great devices, unlimited data, cheaper rates...all positives.

No way to ever use my 4G phone on their 4G Network is a huge middle finger by Sprint to all of us who don't have 4G in our area, yet we pay the extra $10 monthly fee.

I will be voting with my wallet when the time comes Dan H.

Remember the Kyocera Echo, and how everyone said it was an epic fail b/c it didn't have 4G? My Photon, and Evo 3D and Galaxy S II Epic Touch Pro whatever are all in the same boat now...unless you happen to live in a Wimax area already. Sure better guts...but on the network side...they're exactly the same.

As has been said hundreds of times- the $10/mo fee was not for 4G, never was. It was for data-sucking "smart phones".

How come non 4G Smartphones are not charged 10$ more? I have the EVO 4g, Wife Has EVO 3D, No WiMax in the area. Mom has the LG Optimus S NON 4G "Smartphone" No extra Charge? We are all on 3G, All are Smartphones, YES? But we are Charged extra 10$ on "4G" Devices, Sorry, it doesn't make sense, Line of BULL$HIT from Sprint. I'm sure the Optimus S can "SUCK" just as much data as the EVO 4G+3D on 3G. Depends on the User. 99% of all phones released these days are Smartphones, are they not? Please explain again? I'm a little confused, or am I...

I am just repeating what I read and what I was told. Supposedly they classed the newer smart phone devices and users as those who would use more data and would have to pay the fee, regardless of if they had access to 4G.

Read their site: "If you pick a smartphone, our $10 Premium Data add-on charge will apply." Says nothing about 4G phones. The iphone is a smart phone, and not 4G, and they must also pay the $10 fee.

The reason those old phones don't have the charge is because they were grandfathered in with an old plan.

I do think it is unfair and stupid. But those are the facts.

Somebody's (crxssi) buying the Sprint marketing campaign hook, line & sinker. My house has 2 Optimus S's...one has the $10/mo fee...the other doesn't...data usage is higher on my son's that any of the other phones in our plan...yet his 'data sucking' smartphone is $10/mo less.

Tell me how one identical 'data-sucking' smart phone costs more then the other for Sprint? Same for my old Treo Pro...

The only difference is a) Sprint needed to be able to keep their advertised rates the same and b) Sprint has a 4G (now dying) Wimax network to build and c) it was a way of not breaking contracts by just immediately wanting to jack everyone's rate up.

After that fee has existed for 2 years, and everyone's rolled through it...they'll make it standard and say they've gotten rid of an added fee or some marketing pitch like that.

Looks like the marketing plan is working on some.

For hundreds of years people said the world was flat...didn't make it true.

I am not "buying" anything, I just just telling you their response. See previous posting, above.

When 4G first came out, the $10 dollars was for 4G. They changed it after the fact that 4G sucks in most places and they want the money.

Good luck to Sprint. Still I wonder why Sprint, & AT&T for that matter, are now hyping their all new LTE network but neglected large swaths of the country with their 3G/Edge coverage. Sprint at least has roaming on Verizon, in some areas anyway. AT&T just sucks period.

"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." That answers that question. iPhone with Unlimited, here i COME!!!

I was waiting for something like this to happen.. Kind of reminds me of the Blu Ray/HD DVD mess a few years back... Which direction do you go? Eventually Blu Ray ended up becoming the standard and I think the same is finally happening with LTE over WiMax...

I'm happy..

Same as the VHS vs. Betamax format wars in the 70's-80's.

It is definitely happening. WiMax = HD DVD = Betamax. LOL.

It was such a stupid move anyway, but they were itching to have 4G "first" instead of waiting & doing it right, like Verizon & have ended up pissing a lot of their customers off in the process.

What this means to me is don't upgrade your phone until the new phones that support the network come out. Think how many people have the same thought. That and the loss of Prime could be a problem on their bottom line.

In any case, I hope it works out because I've been a Sprint user for a VERY long time.

You REALLY think that most 3D users will be in an LTE area by the end of their contract?

Think again...

Everyone please indulge this out of character rant for a moment... BUT... Will some of of you people PLEASE stop spouting off on subjects you've taken NO time to research? REALLY?! I mean come on. People griping and moaning about their Wimax devices or Wimax in general....feeling "screwed over" by Sprint.

Bottom line is most of us, EVEN YOU COMPLAINERS will upgrade to a new device every chance you get, and those of us who can afford it will buy them off contract. The Samsung ETGS2, the Nexus Prime, the Evo's, the current iPhones will ALL be fairly old news by the time any major changes would happen to your wimax tech. Stop complaining about TOMORROW things on TODAY devices. Most of these phones we are jumping up and down about today will be collecting dust or in a drawer somewhere by 2013 and you KNOW it.

Furthermore Sprint has pledged their commitment to Wimax and Wimax customers for the foreseeable future.

I think a lot of people who comment on here are sheep, following and mimicking the mutterings of others who also don't know much about what they talk about. Kind of like politics ain't it. Most people hated Obama or Palin not because of what they themselves knew or studied, but because of what the masses had to say about them.

Sprint is making some awesome and timely changes that actually put the customer first. Sure there will be things we don't' like. Frankly however, we won't know if we don't like them until they come to pass.

So for TODAY enjoy your phones, your wimax, your 3G or even the lack thereof. Tomorrow will handle itself and considering the tomorrow we are talking about is 365- 912 tomorrows away...getting your panties in a bunch already is just sad.

Let the attacks begin lol :)

OH and if you want to follow the event live just go here: A lot of your questions will be answered, and though you may still be a bit foolish, at least you will have knowledge on what you grip about:

http://live.thisismynext.com/Event/Sprint_Strategy_Update_live_blog

Thank you sir, you said what i was feeling, but refrained from saying, just above your post. I find the traits you suggested are unfortunately the relative norm for comments on AC, infused with a negativity I don't see so much on the other mobile nations sites.

i'm sorry i must have been burning up my keyboard while you posted that lol at least i know i'm not the only one that still uses the sense some call common.

Thank you,

And i didn't meant to come across as a jerk. I just literally laugh and then laughter turns into frustration when i see some of these posts. Maybe being in the tech industry I have learned that what's hot today is old news tomorrow. Kinda like Britney and Paris.

Technology changes so fast that it's useless getting up in arms about some of this stuff. Let's just take it for what it is on the day that we have it.

Just think about it, not THAT much time has passed linear-wise since the original Palm Pre. Despite it's lackluster showing, you won't find many who can say that phone wasn't a great new idea and it generated a lot of buzz. Now just over two years later ask those of us who owned one if we prefer it over, say our Evo's or or Galaxy phones... Probably not.

Now how many of us get a very nice car and drive it for 10 years or until the wheels fall off? Number is WAY higher and when it comes time for a trade in we see that not much has changed in the auto industry since the Model T lol. (exaggeration I know)

Just calm down people, that's all i was trying to say. You will be ok, the sky is not falling. So who wants to place bets for when the Nexus Prime will become the next Palm Pre? Hmm?

I think someone who just signed a new Sprint contract & DOESN'T currently live in a WiMax area but was promised (by old press releases, coverage "roadmaps", or sales reps) that they WOULD be getting 4G coverage have every right to be upset because now it is clear that they won't...or at least it won't be compatible with their new phone when/if LTE does come.

They will essentially just have a 3G phone for the next 20-24 months & that isn't what they were sold.

Again maybe it's just my being in the industry but I never EVER take things at face value. When Sprint first started talking "4G"and the Evo, I knew where i lived would never see 4G, heck we can't even get Cable TV out here. I wanted the device though. I don't do my computing on a phone, don't see myself wanting to anytime soon.

I guess for me 4G has never been a selling point. Granted I love the benefits of it when I travel to a 4G market, i notice the difference immediately but still, my hope isn't in it.

For what it's worth. wi-fi is available at increasingly more places and my 3G speeds have been sufficient to do the things I need my smartphone to do.

Will I turn down 4G? Heck no, but it's not the end all for me.

Pastor - When I bought my Epic I thought (maybe naively) that my area would have 4G during the life of my phone. When I learned they were implementing LTE it became apparent that I probably never would see WiMAX here. There are several other carriers that do have 4G here and because Sprint raised their prices, it suddenly made economic sense to consider switching. So I did.

I do think it was a bit of bait and switch on Sprint's part to begin rolling out WiMax and then decide to stop before it reached a majority of markets.

I can only speak from my personal experience as a business owner. Each year we update our strategy to reflect the change in the market. While my best intentions last year may have been to fully support and extend to my customers product A, if by the time the year rolls out I see product A is becoming obsolete then for the sake of my business AND my customers I have to change course. I don't see it as a bait and switch PERSONALLY.

I see it as Sprint once again forging roads in areas where others weren't willing to. For what it's worth Wimax at the time was their best option. I don't know if anyone recalls but there was a HUGE debate before the other carries jumped in about Wimax being the US standard and LTE holding the torch overseas. A lot of folks thought maybe, just MAYBE Sprint was simply ahead of the game. Turns out they were wrong. They took a gamble, got out on the field early and looked back to see their opponents weren't even in the same stadium.

In order to play the game and have even the SMALLEST chance at winning (think Vikings Vs. Packers) they would have to at least show up to the arena the other team was playing in. In this case it's the LTE Arena.

Woe to those who pave the way.

All those who are holding out on upgrades til 2012, have y'all thought about losing unlimited data as sprint may change plan prices. Just something to consider

Some of you need to switch to Decaf. Everyone has an opinion and a right to express it. Disagreeing with someone's opinion is fine but descending into a bitch fest about it is pointless and teen age girlish. Some people don't get very much use out of WiMax in their area and therefore have certain feelings about that. Others do and that's great. Some will buy a new phone now. Others will wait until next year when LTE rolls out. EITHER WAY, we're still the only network left that has true unlimited and we should agree on being happy about that. The rest is differences of opinion that can actually be expressed in a mature and intelligent manner.

There is no way Sprint can sustain unlimited data forever. Their stock is now up to $3.14, buoyed, no doubt, by the LTE announcement. But if you think about it, after Verizon started rolling out LTE (or was it before the rollout?), they did away with unlimited plans. So either just before or not too long after, you can expect Sprint to do away with unlimited plans for new customers, current customers keep their plans, and at new device upgrade time, you'll have to change to a new capped data plan. But for now, we have unlimited still, and a way to go before they eliminate it entirely. The stock price has to climb. The could get eaten up in a hostile take over, if it doesn't.

If technology keeps moving at the rate it's moving at now, Data plans won't be AS important don't you agree?

Every new phone now has wifi capabilities. Many if not most of the places i frequent (restaurants, airports, stadiums even campuses) are offering up free wi-fi. I won't have a problem with a tiered or capped data plan, I don't think I use it all that much anyways. I'm sure it's different for some but i can foresee that we, as a nation will be just one giant wifi router. Especially with all the "white noise" talk going on at the FCC lately.

To be honest, I use WiFi at work, at home, and most of the places I go around town have WiFi, so the only time I'm really using data on the cell network is in my car. With a couple of days left in my billing cycle, I've used 141,482KB of 3G data and 40KB of 4G data. And I am on Facebook, Twitter, Web, E-mail, and using apps that use the web all day every day. So switching to a tiered plan really wouldn't be anything that would get my shorts in a bunch, with WiFi. And if WiFi calling works on the next phone I get, that will save bandwidth on the network for others to use. As long as I have unlimited minutes for phone calls, tiered data won't be an issue for me.

To all of you folks freaking out: This Is My Next was liveblogging the entire (still occuring) event and they have 6 pages full of photographs and summaries of everything that's going on right now. It's all right there - every question that's been asked here about WiMAX, LTE, the future of handsets, when handsets will start rolling out with LTE, how soon the LTE rollout will start and finish, how coverage will be improved, new coverage maps... it's all over on that liveblog. Chill out, take ten minutes to read over it, and all your questions will be answered.

After being screwed out of the extra money ever month for a 4g network that never went past a half dozen cities, and being screwed over on updates to a phone that was eol after just 6 months, and now they're limiting data on the mobile hotspot, Sprint has lost my business. As soon as the contract is over, I'm gone.

Let's not exaggerate lol. They have 4G Wimax in 30 states. Pales in comparison to what Verizon has managed but let's give credit where credit is due.

Thing i found interesting though is that 4G is not "available" in Green Bay, WI, yet when i turn on my 4G antenna, I get connection and somewhat fair performance.

Makes me wonder how many other areas this is happening in?

You can find out right here:

http://www.clear.com/coverage

Scroll over to Green Bay, WI and see that it shows coverage. There are also pockets of coverage all over the area. Scroll around the country and there are a lot of little pockets of coverage here and there.

A lot of those areas that you're able to zoom in on are 'Protection Sites'.

Check out Wadena, MN on the coverage map...a town of 4k has 4G coverage, but the speeds aren't any better than 3G in the area. Been there, tested it.

Clearwire has to occupy the spectrum in order to meet part of their terms of the lease from the FCC.

I'm having trouble understanding what would be the solution to your situation.
--The $10 is for smartphones. Example: iPhone 4S does not include 4G, but you still have to pay this fee.
Are you proposing providers don't release smartphones in markets without 4G? The iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S would never have seen the light of day.
--All phones eventually have a 6 month EOL or less. Example: Purchasing the iPhone 4 16GB on Verizon/AT&T in September. Are you suggesting providers stop selling phones once their EOL is at 7 months? That you means people wouldn't be able to buy the best keyboard android phone on Sprint, the EPIC 4G

The $10 is for the expected extra usage. My brother has a 3G phone on Sprint and uses about 4GB a month. I have a 4G phone, but use closer to 400MBs a month. Is he getting screwed? No...

With the lack of 4G WiMax signal in Atlanta, 4G just isn't important to me. 3G serves my data needs because I'm not trying to stream major motion pictures down to my phone or anything like that. E-mail. Twitter. Facebook. Web searches. The occasional "video clip". That's about it. I'm good. And since the iPhone 4S is 3G and has NO 4G radio, the EVERYTHING PLAN I'll get should eliminate that extra $10 4G fee, since the iPhone can't get 4G anyway. :-)

Only Sprint could make AT&T's LTE rollout look impressive. It's the NexTel fiasco all over again. BTW,was there ever an update as to whether or not Sprint was going to start using EVDO Rev.B data? From what I've read the iPhone 4S doesn't have this but I know a few of the newer high-end Android devices can access it.Seems like a decent stop-gap measure for Sprint to use until LTE network is up and running.

You can definitely tell who actually followed Sprint's Strategy Update today, and who is just commenting on what they've read here. Your comment is so painfully uninformed that it's not funny.

I view this as a positive as well. I have three excellent Android devices right now...EVO 3D, EVO 4G, and NS4G. I happen to get excellent 3G and 4G in my area, which is outside of Nashville, TN, but like others, I am on wi-fi a lot anyway. If I do have to use something other than wifi or 4G for whatever reason, I really don't care whether as long as it is fast. Lately I have gotten some really fast 3G speeds. Also, the timing is such that the rollout will be well on its way when many of us are ready to upgrade.

The EVO 3D is my personal line, the NS4G is our business line, and the EVO 4G actually belongs to my husband, but I'm the one who mods it (and the other two as well) all the time so it is really mine! ;)

I could not really care about the LTE since I live in a area that is guaranteed not to get it until the service is everywhere.

In reviewing the live blog of the event there I still have an important, yet unanswered question: How long will Sprint support WiMax devices? We know that their agreement with Clearwire ends Dec 31, 2012; will the end of that agreement mean that devices who get 4G via WiMax will essentially become 3G devices?

With my last Premiere Gold upgrade weeks away, do you folks think I should hold off on upgrading until devices that support LTE are available?

Personally this announcement, while great in the long-term, is frustrating due to the termination of Sprint Premiere; as a 10+ year Sprint user the yearly upgrade was a great benefit given because of my loyalty to Sprint and, if Premiere Gold was not terminated this announcement wouldn't impact my (and thousands of other folks) decision because another yearly upgrade would occur prior to then end of the Clearwire/WiMax agreement.

Today's announcement helps me understand that LTE and not the iPhone was the reason for the termination of the Premiere program. The "New for You" upgrade program (horrible brand name by the way: screams used-car dealership or refurbished device) means everyone upgrades every 22 months. While this potentially will provide Sprint with an increased revenue stream in device sales by current customers who want the latest must-have device and pay full price rather than wait almost 2 years for their upgrade; in the end Sprint is sending a clear message about how they value of long-term Sprint customers.

I'm curious about something. When your yearly upgrade came up, did you get the phones for the subsidized price (usually $199) plus your discount ($150 for two years, $75 for one)? Seems to me that they can't sell an on contract phone for an UNSUBSIDIZED PRICE. Asking because I have my first and only yearly upgrade coming in December.

Dark_Blu I'm not sure about the iPhone (it is not something on my radar, I'm an Android guy for mobile but ironically an Apple guy for computers). It would surprise me if Sprint offered the iPhone for $75 at your upgrade; I assume they would say that the retail price is $___ but they will sell it to you for $199 which is an even bigger discount than you'd get if Sprint just took $150 off retail.

PhilR8 that was one of the major red flags that I saw when reading the live blog (and the reason I posted my comments)

The end of WiMax provides Sprint with an increased revenue stream in device sales by current customers who want the latest must-have device and pay full price rather than wait almost 2 years for their upgrade

I think it's safe to assume that WiMAX will be around until the end of 2014. There is a specific slide that says Sprint will continue to sell WiMAX devices throughout 2012:

http://images.scribblelive.com/2011/10/7/ab188f21-1f62-472a-a738-4b914d0...

So you gotta think they're going to support these devices for the duration of the contracts signed. Then once 2013 rolls around, sales of WiMAX devices will probably end. Here's a slide that has graphic representations of how the LTE rollout will look compared to current WiMAX coverage:

http://images.scribblelive.com/2011/10/7/a48b1a90-838b-49b7-a5c5-fea16f7...

So LTE devices will begin to be sold mid-2012 and the network will be about the same size as the WiMAX network but will be in different areas (for the most part). Then by the end of 2013, LTE coverage will DWARF WiMAX coverage. Then at the end of 2014, most customers with WiMAX devices will be eligible for an upgrade... and you figure they'll give those folks a year? to switch to a new device. So WiMAX is gone by the end of 2015.

Good riddance!

Hell I'm not complainin because Sprint has true unlimited. That's why I just switched from T-Mobile 4G to Sprint 3G (no wimax in Wisconsin) and it feels good not to be throttled. I've used 4 gigs of data in the two weeks I've had this phone because I'm always flashing different rom. I would never be allowed that much data anywhere else. Sprint I'm stayin wit until they feel the need to stop TRUE unlimited data.

responding to the earlier post. Yes, I realize that he iPhone 4s isn't 4G. My point was that "if" I am going to spend $200 on a new phone, I may as well consider one of the newer iphones running 3G as many folks flock to the newest and latest even when they have poor coverage.

I did mention that I was considering the Droid Bionic but not at $299 and also waiting on the new Nexus phone.