Sprint shutting down WiMAX by end of 2015

Sprint's WiMAX network isn't long for this world. The first "4G" network to launch in the United States, WiMAX was hampered by Sprint's available spectrum and shamed by the speeds brought on by the launch of LTE on Verizon and AT&T. Having thrown in the towel on WiMAX and rushed to launch their own LTE network, Sprint is now paving the way to shut down their old WiMAX network by the end of next year.

2015 will not only see Sprint flipping the WiMAX switch to off, it'll also mean that Sprint will be decommissioning at least 6,000 of their 55,000 towers in the process. In the meantime, Sprint is going to take their new combined assets with Clearwire and continue building out their new LTE-Advanced "Spark" network

Source: SEC; Via: FierceWireless

 
There are 92 comments

RIP

mwara244 says:

Hallelujah, Free at last, Free at Last!

jakeuten says:

well then Minneapolis/St. Paul will be downgraded to 3G, because Sprint STILL hasn't brought LTE to the Twin Cities.

Posted on my Galaxy S III, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (2013) or Gateway ID49C

The story goes the same here in Las Vegas, NV. 3G and WiMax only. Coupled with terrible cell coverage (calls drop all the time), this only adds for fuel to want to leave sooner.

ashraf1190 says:

hmmm, I was in Vegas and got LTE all around.

CountryDevil says:

+1

Was there 1 month ago today. No issues at all with LTE.

BigDinCA says:

+2

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tigeryee says:

I can vouch for suburbansolja. LTE is available in some areas on the strip but not in the burbs. I don't understand why that is,and the LTE is meh anyways compared to T-Mo

What are you talking about?? Vegas is full of LTE

**Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!**

rawvega says:

Right. Although Vegas isn't officially LTE launched yet, but there's quite a bit of LTE around Vegas. Oddly enough, it is a bit sparse around The Strip.

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rkopsie says:

Incorrect. Sprint has had 4G LTE for months now.

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Jay Holm says:

Screw Vegas!!!!!!! I don't live there anymore! And one month at a time I continue not living there!

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rawvega says:

So?

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Minneapolis and surrounding areas are full of LTE also.

**Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!**

Sammyc53 says:

MSP has TONS of LTE. A big push is happening right now. With a complete rollouts done by summer. Sprint isn't killing WiMax until the end of 2015 anyway. That's a long ways away.

And paying the 3g premium data fee.

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Mikey47 says:

Yet again someone showing their ignorance. Is your phone even capable of LTE? If it is do you know how to enable it?
I get LTE all over St. Paul and Minneapolis. I was picking up some nice band 41 at MOA a couple weeks ago(38 Mbps down).
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geoff5093 says:

I didn't think it was possible for Sprint's coverage to get worse, I can't imagine what losing more than 10% of their towers will look like.

doomstang says:

I'm guessing they will shut down the WiMax only towers that they don't need. There are quite a few areas in STL where there is a Sprint tower broadcasting LTE just a stone's throw from a Clearwire tower hosting wimax. There's no point in keeping the wimax tower if you decommission wimax.....it would be a waste to put sprint's LTE equipment so near other sprint towers.

Dizfunctions says:

Hopefully sprint can become competitive again

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jimbo says:

Sprint is currently building out the most advanced and fastest LTE Advanced network available the US.

MERCDROID says:

Let us know when its finished, lol.

jeddo45 says:

Yea.... Please... Fast ain't fast if you cant get any of it.

Nexus 5...enough said

MERCDROID says:

Don't get me wrong: I can't wait for the day when Sprint has a competitive LTE network. It'll definitely keep Verizon and AT&T on their toes. Hell, if Sprint betters their network and device lineup, they may one day get my business.

That was when they were planning to have Spark, a combination of 3 spectrum frequencies and data technologies. Now that they're getting one taken out, what are they doing with the bandwidth, spectrum, and money spent to make triband phones?

They're going to use the wimax band for LTE.

**Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!**

Lol Gotcha. I wonder what happens to Clear customers then.

Phillycat says:

They still have at least a year and a half to find an alternative. The end of 2015 should be enough time for most.

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Omar Diaz says:

I was about to say..soo am I'm getting my $10 4G money back

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Razieltov says:

What $10 4G money?

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NoNexus says:

And old fee that is non existent anymore

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You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

+1

**Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!**

jeddo45 says:

I'm still getting charged for 4G and not getting any...

Nexus 5...enough said

starztruk says:

The sad part is, many people who were promised WiMAX never got it or LTE. Instead, they're stuck with Sprint's subpar "3G". Good thing I switched to T-Mobile though. #lovingit

Posted via Android Central App on my T-Mobile LG G2

btf6df says:

its ok! they can just get promised "Spark" speeds and stay on 3G now.... can't wait for the S5 to drop in my mailbox on or before the 11th! Goodbye Sprint, hello T-mobile!

Razieltov says:

The really sad part is the lackluster coverage T-Mobile has.

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zackmack7 says:

Same. I switched in January. T-Mobile has blazing fast LTE in Baltimore. Even the HSPA is faster than Sprint's Wi-Max 4G

NoNexus says:

Baltimore Sprint Lte kills T-Mobile

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You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

zackmack7 says:

Ehh. My whole household is on Sprint except me. Their download speeds don't even crack the 20's. I consistently see well over 30mbps. Even HSPA is in the teens.

savdini says:

There not a single thing anyone is doing on their phones that they would ever need more than 2-5 Mbps.. Only if you're downloading torrents.

Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3

zackmack7 says:

The faster the better. Netflix, etc.As soon as I switched, I noticed a massive bump in how quickly pages loaded: Instagram, Google+, Vine, etc. I want content available as quickly as possible. More than happy than I was with Sprint's trash speeds

NoNexus says:

I spend a lot of time down there on work, whatever test phone I have (for sprint) or my sprint note 3 consistently trashes T-Mobile.

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You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

Jay Holm says:

And the same people chose to be with Sprint.

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one80oneday says:

Wonder what's happening to MVNO's that currently use Sprints WiMax since the article states it's being removed

Grahaman27 says:

Its being completely shutdown.

via moto x.

droidhead_1 says:

I was thinking the same..

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If sprint would have worked on lte instead of wimax they wouldn't be the laughing stock of a company they are now.

carraser891 says:

+1000

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hmmm says:

I agree. I think Dan Hesse has addressed that and said at the time it was more important for them to be the first 4G network. Seems like a bad decision now but who knows.

astoriacub says:

Wrong, their license for that spectrum was about to expire unless it was going to be used. Sprint LTE wasn't ready to be rolled and they weren't going to let the spectrum go for nothing, hence WiMax first.

troyboytn says:

+1 That is correct. Too many people here make too many assumptions because they aren't smart enough to read and get the correct information. If Wimax had not been deployed when it was, Sprint would have lost that spectrum forever. Even though it didn't pan out at the time, it was the overwhelmingly smart thing to do for future purposes.

kamiller42 says:

I enjoyed my high speed wimax for at least 2 years when many of my friends and family were putt-putting along with 3G.

NoNexus says:

Do you know why they did it? They had to use the spectrum or lose it. Lte was not ready, as in the specifications were not finished. They did wimax so they could keep the block.

It was the best move at the time... Actually the only move

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You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

willquil1 says:

They have been pissin me off with their service. Annoyed but still holding until that transfer to Verizon

posted via Galaxy S4

DocToxyn says:

Perhaps I'm part of a minority, but I've been with Sprint in upstate NY since the Palm Pre days and while I was at times thinking how much worse can it get (and sadly it did), Sprint has turned it around and I get very good 3G/4G in my area. Voice is much improved as well. They aren't setting any records for LTE roll-out, but it is happening.

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afazel says:

No records for LTE rollout, but definitely setting records for nationwide network rebuild.

droidhead_1 says:

I'm with you. I'm in Chicago, first Spark rollout and our continued to get better and better, even though it better that all others already here. 30-60 mb down more than not.

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jlehrer100 says:

Where in Chicago are you getting those speeds? I've never seen higher than about 23.

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Stuman1 says:

This story is old. They sent out a letter in 2012. They said it would go away in 2015 and took away the preferred customer plan.

Posted via Note 3 AC App

Warrenisit says:

4+ years paying $10 a month extra for my 4g enabled devices but never got it and have lived in multiple areas between SF and Sacramento. Was going to jump to Verizon and get the new HTC ONE but I'll hold off for a complete device.

Stuman1 says:

I expect a class action suit for that $10 wimax 4g charge. You were still charged, even if it wasn't in your area. It only reached 10 cites and everytime I called to get the charge taken off, they had a new explanation of what it was for.
Posted via Note 3 AC App

kamiller42 says:

Doubt the suit would go anywhere. They called it a "premium data charge," which was fancy wording for "smartphone data access."

troyboytn says:

And this is why there will be no class action....guaranteed.

Andvarix says:

"In the meantime, Sprint is going to take their new combined assets with Clearwire and continue building out their new LTE-Advanced "Spark" network" ..... don't hold your breath.

They're already doing it.

**Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!**

astoriacub says:

And doing a good job. The NYC market is MUCH better than even 6 months ago. I'm looking forward to upgrading to a Spark device to access all the awesomeness that will be Sprint by the end of the year.

Stovicek says:

It may be the first of Sprint's long list of promises that will actually meet its deadline. If they're known for anything it's degraded service. Might as well continue building on the one reputation we all know so well.

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DWR_31 says:

Sprint surely degraded my upload speed.
http://goo.gl/iVa4DI

Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, K00949438Yd FRAMILY!

Jay Holm says:

I have a feeling Sprint is alighning their network to be a force to be reckoned with. . .but not for ANOTHER two years.

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Jnug70 says:

Las Vegas I show lte but at pitiful slow speeds plus when you look on sprints coverage map it still doesnt show any signals anywhere in Nevada

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To be honest they will turn it off by 2015. They will jot just turn it off.. They will convert it to NV..
Relax guys..

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carraser891 says:

Sprint starting with wimax as a "4G" standard was the worst idea ever. Now they gotta play catch up to even T-Mobile....

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NoNexus says:

Lol, oh how little you know.

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You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

Wimax itself isn't bad. In fact an argument can be made that it is superior to LTE in some ways. But the problem is that like 3 carriers in the entire world used it and Sprint deployed it on on poor spectrum real estate. 2500 mHz so it had poor range and terrible structure penetration.

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troyboytn says:

And if you would read several posts above yours, you would know the real reason..... In fact, is was definitely a great idea...

Sprint was long on promise & short on delivery. Wimaxx never really rolled out & here in Dayton, Ohio even their LTE network which just went live a month ago is 1/5 the speed of Verizon's LTE here.

jd914 says:

Shutdown Nextel, shutdown wimax next to shutdown is Sprint itself.

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Lol .... Sprint has been such a mess for so long I don't understand why or how people deal with them.

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NoNexus says:

Because they are they are better than T-Mobile in overall coverage, and just as cheap

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You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

SoCalBIGmike says:

No they are not. Thats total bullshit. T-Mobile is a GIANT leap forward.

NoNexus says:

As long as your in a city. Travel to the burbs and your toast. Even in the cities T-Mobile sucks half the time

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You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

So is Sprint going to do something for all of the customers who bought EVOs and other Wimax devices and never did get their promised 4G?

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jrb363 says:

I wonder how many billions Sprint wasted on WiMAX. Anybody know the total cost of building it out, advertising, phone exclusives, etc?

Clearwire built the Wimax network. Sprint just paid to use it.

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jrb363 says:

Any idea how much they lost on the WiMAX deal?

troyboytn says:

The spectrum that they got to keep by deploying Wimax was and will be worth every penny (though I don't know the dollar figure)

scottae316 says:

I have been with Sprint through the WiMAX, $10 surcharge, and broken promises. Well, it is a different Sprint with a new owner. Look at one small example, they acquired Clearwire and are already beginning to use the new spectrum ("Spark"). I am willing to give Sprint a chance now, if they do not produce, shame on me.

heavyvino says:

What is this going to do to those of us that have a clear wire 4g hot spot? I have unlimited 4g on it.

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madthoughts says:

I held on to my barely functioning HTC EVO 3D for an extra 6-7 months because the Wiimax coverage in my hood was so good. I finally upgraded my phone on the promise from some sprint folks that LTE was weeks away. We'll, it's nearly a year later and I'm stuck on 3G in most spots with no new LTE in sight.

If my hood jumps past 4G to spark, it better work on my current device.

SoCalBIGmike says:

What. A. Joke. And the new ad campaigns are painful.

LazarX says:

Well, all those EVO 4G phones that were being sold for that really cheap service are going to suffer next year.

So much for all those wimax hotspots from Sprint MVNOs