At first, VoLTE will be used to deliver "Rich Communications Services" (which look like something similar to what Voice over IP/Video over IP outfits offer today) rather than completely replacing narrowband voice. It will be awhile before Verizon is willing to commit to that, due in part to LTE outages in late 2011.
On the flip side is MetroPC, which has pushed VoLTE as hard as it could.
Then there's Sprint, which will stick to voice over 1x for the foreseeable future, but routes Direct Connect over IP. Sprint's latest DC incarnation seems quite similar to one facet of RCS over LTE.
While I do agree they should (and we all know they will) be replaced, but if enabling 3x and 4x extends the hardware's life a bit longer before being replaced I'm all for it.
I'd rather see them invest in areas that lack b41 first before replacing hardware that could potentially still serve areas well for a bit longer.
Clearwire sites are gradually being replaced. I've found at least 4 in the Kansas City area that have been upgraded from Sprint NV/Clear B41 to 8T8R or from Clear only to full Sprint equipment. Doesn't help your market, but this should be happening in most Clear markets to some degree.
Sent from my LG G6
Happy to see them doing this but they really should be replacing these sites with newer equipment. These clear sites are in some of the busiest areas. When Wimax was around these site provided all the coverage. I was hoping to see Mimo equipment replacing these sites this year.