by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Monday, May 7, 2012 - 10:14 AM MDT
Good news, everyone! As most of you already know, the HTC EVO 4G LTE pre-order is under way. And you can reserve yours by following this link to the Sprint Pre-Order page. I ordered one for my wife. This is a quality phone, no doubt. And the legions of fans are lining up for their shot at one of the first units. The iconic EVO name will be living on with a superior device worthy of its heritage.
Screenshot of my order showing shipping starts May 15th.
S4GRU is ecstatic that the device is coming out so soon, even after our recent report that the device was scheduled to launch as late as June 10th, according to documents we were shown from a source in Sprint's Product Development divison. This morning, the same source contacted me and asked for S4GRU to release screen shots of the actual documents where our reporting came from.
This is an unprecedented move, as we have only one other time received a request from a source to show documents. We typically do not release source documents to protect our sources. The source does not believe the documents that we are disclosing here represent a security risk to him.
Screenshot of a Sprint lab document showing the EVO LTE with a launch date of June 10th.
In this screenshot you can see the LTE Connectivity issue that was suspected to cause delay of the EVO LTE. It is in the upper right hand corner section.
In these documents you can see the foundation from our reporting about the June 10th launch date and the information about LTE Connectivity issues in the lab, which could have been a source of delay. These are just two pages in a 100+ page Lab Report. S4GRU has seen several of these lab reports since February, each one building more and more on the last one.
To me it seems when you marry the May 15th shipping dates of pre-orders with the source documents listed above, they may not be in conflict. Just differences in snap shots in time. It seems to be that Sprint has decided to proceed with distributing the EVO LTE before the LTE connectivity issues are solved. They probably will be correcting the issue via an OTA (Over-the-Air) Update. Notice that the EVO LTE timeline is marked in yellow, meaning "Risk with Mitigation." Could the mitigation employed be a future OTA?
If this is the case, this seems to be a smarter solution than to delay the shipment of the EVO LTE. After all, if the only issue with the device is maintaining a connection to LTE signals. And if that can be corrected with a software update, why not push them out now? 99% of their customers are not located within coverage of On-Air LTE sites at the moment. And Sprint is blocking access to LTE now at any rate, as we have reported. In fact, it may be the very reason why Sprint is blocking access to the LTE network.
I asked all of this speculation with the source, and he said he only knows what he sees in reports (which is all we know, too). And the last report he has seen says the LTE connectivity issue will be resolved with a software fix. But he is unsure how and when it will be implemented. But he is skeptical that the fix is already in the devices scheduled to be shipped next week based how he just learned that a fix was discovered the end of last week.
When you consider the importance of the new generation EVO and how it is supposed to help retain millions of old generation EVO customers that will start coming off contract June 4th, it seems like a Sprint decision to roll with the new EVO LTE immediately with possible LTE connectivity issues is a no brainer. It will be interesting to see if there is a EVO LTE OTA that comes out around the same time as the LTE network goes live. You may even be prompted with an OTA at activation. That would be very timely.