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Are Microsoft and Nokia brewing up “the perfect storm” for Apple and Android’s smartphone market share?

by Scott Johnson Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Monday, April 2, 2012 - 12:29 PM MDT   Microsoft entered the modern era of smartphone operating systems with the release of their Windows Phone 7 (WP7) platform. The first WP7 handsets went on sale October 21st 2010 with Sprint receiving their lone WP7 offering 5 months later with the HTC Arrive. The HTC Arrive suffered from slow sales numbers and Sprint brass quoting a poor “user experience” for returns of the device. There was recently evidence that Sprint may have rejected a follow-up to the Arrive, the HTC Maaza, when a tester prototype phone showed up for sale on ebay.   The WP platform still has not gained as much as a 5% market share as Microsoft continues to lose market share. Ratings giant Nielsen saw such a small market share for WP that they did not even include WP as a separate platform and inserted their statistics in the “other smartphone” category.     Even though the HTC Arrive has failed to generate a whole lot of buzz at Sprint, many of the consumers who purchased the device think very highly of it. The user rating of the HTC Arrive currently stands at 4.6 out of 5 stars and 91% of those who purchased the phone would recommend it to a friend. This stands out in comparison to the highly vaunted Apple iPhone 4S which currently boasts a 4.4 rating out of 5 stars with 86% of consumers who would recommend it to a friend. Windows Phone fans at Sprint are so passionate that they have started a petition to Sprint to procure more WP devices that currently has over 2,400 signatures.   Partnership with Nokia gives Windows Phone a partner committed to the OS   Microsoft began their campaign to gain ground on the US smartphone market by announcing that they would partner with one of the largest phone makers who has been longing for a reentry into the US market. On February 11th 2011, Nokia announced that they had established a partnership with Microsoft to make their mobile platform the primary operating system for Nokia phones. In Nokia, Microsoft found a partner to not only build flagship devices that are designed to pull the most possible functionality out of the WP operating system; they also found a partner to help them market the phones and operating system. Nokia is set to release the first LTE enabled phone running the Windows Phone operating system on April 8th in the form of the Nokia Lumia 900 on AT&T’s network for a mere $99.99.   Customers are unfamiliar with the operating system   Microsoft has learned from the past, while the operating system may be able to compete with the likes of iOS and Android, unless the sales staff can highlight the strong points of the OS, is familiar with the phone and has incentive to sell the phone over other models, the phone will not sell in the quantities they desire. This is why Nokia is spending upwards of $25 million to provide the Lumia 900 to AT&T for “company use” allowing the sales staff to trade in their iPhones and Androids in exchange for a free Nokia Lumia 900. This move will allow the customer to see the phone as more desirable because the sales staff always seems to have the “cool, cutting edge” phones. Additionally, this will extend the sales staff’s familiarity with the OS well beyond the training that AT&T provides them.   Microsoft has also given AT&T sales staff a financial incentive to sell WP models. A $200 million program has been initiated by Microsoft, through AT&T to pay a $10-15 commission for every windows phone that an employee sells to a customer. If the AT&T test bed pays off in increased sales of WP handsets, the promotions will likely spread to other carriers like Sprint when they begin receiving shipments of their WP flagship later this year.   Customers want apps on their smartphone   As it stands, the Windows Phone Marketplace has about 65,000 apps, this number pales in comparison to the nearly half a million apps in iTunes and nearly as many in Google Play. Even more concerning, is the lack of some of the most popular apps. Pandora, Bump, Skype, Dropbox and Google Maps are all missing from the WP platform trumping an argument that WP has quality apps and not merely a large quantity of apps.   Microsoft and Nokia have contributed $12 million each to develop a mobile app development program. They also plan to spend $10 million on an advertising campaign to promote the competitors of the top apps that are absent from the WP Marketplace. Apps also tend to cost more on the WP Marketplace than other app stores due to the developers needing to charge extra to make up for smaller sales numbers since the OS has such a small portion of market share. Without apps, the platform will have a tough time catching on with customers, and without customers, the platform will have a hard time attracting developers.   Advertising can make consumers more receptive to Windows Phone   The Nokia Lumia 900 is reported to be the benefactor of a $100 million “hero” advertising campaign. It is not known how Microsoft, Nokia and AT&T will split up the advertising costs, but that much money will certainly bring customer awareness up for the operating system and for Nokia’s brand recognition. Sprint customers will no doubt see these ads and become more familiar with WP and Nokia (should Nokia build a device for Sprint’s network) so when a WP device is released on Sprint’s network, it will also benefit from the ad campaign.   Another Windows Phone flagship is rumored for a late 2012 release to capture sales during the holiday season, with another “hero” advertising campaign; this could bring Sprint and Verizon customers into the fold nicely if it is a Nokia model released on all three carriers.   Consumer perception must be that Windows Phones are “flagship” devices   Many would-be buyers of WP7 handsets such as the HTC Arrive could have been turned off by the combination of lackluster stats and lower price and confused the device with a mid-tier offering. If someone were to compare AT&Ts offering of Samsung handsets today, you would see the Galaxy Note coming in at $300, the Galaxy SII coming in at $200 and the Focus Flash at $1, there is also a newly released Focus S at $200.   The Nokia Lumia 900 would have no such comparisons, and even at a lower price, could be perceived as a flagship at a value price. The Windows Phone OS has been designed to run smoothly on less system resources. The dual core processors, large amounts of memory and larger screens of the Android competition tend to wash out the stats of the Windows Phone lineup. That shortcoming is being remedied with the next WP offerings it seems. Sprint is set to receive a WP with a Qualcomm MSM8960 dual core 1.5GHz and LTE connectivity   [float right][/float]One of the best ways for an operating system to gain new customers is by “smartphone envy.” Friends, family and coworkers tend to show other people some of the more advanced features that their phone has and some of the best apps. In order to spur this type of referral, Microsoft needs to gain market share, and quickly. Windows phone will gain functionality with the release of Windows 8, which will tie the phone OS and PC OS closer together.   The OS can also gain significant ground by integrating further with the popular XBox 360 platform, but they can't afford to lose any ground on Android and iOS. By infusing money into different methods of marketing and into application development, Microsoft is hoping that they can sell handsets and gain market share. They won’t continue throwing money at the platform if it never catches on, but thanks to the moves that they have made, most notably bringing Nokia on board, they may just have the right recipe. They will undoubtedly watch carefully what happens with AT&T as a “test bed” when they start planning their marketing campaigns for Sprint and Verizon.   Maybe someday Windows Phones will “sell themselves” as Android and Apple phones seemingly do, requiring smaller marketing budgets, but for now Microsoft and Nokia need to launch a full scale marketing attack on the market to secure their place in the future.   Sources: Android Authority WPCentral betanews phonenews

pyroscott

pyroscott

 

Are Milwaukee and Cleveland making a run on the Sprint Network Vision/LTE Deployment schedule?

by Robert Herron Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Monday, April 2, 2012 - 1:00 AM MDT   Oh my friends in Milwaukee, you have been so patient. Well, most of you. Especially my pal, Frank! It seems like I am harassed every day by someone in Beer City USA. Some of S4GRU's most loyal fans hail from Milwaukee. We are very happy to provide you an update. For you and your fellow Great Lakes neighbors in Cleveland.   As most of you who are reading this article know, Sprint 4G Rollout Updates has released the list of First and Second Round markets that Sprint is focusing on in the first half of Network Vision and LTE Deployment. Last Friday, we also brought you a story how it appears that Phoenix and Tucson appear to be moving up the schedule. We can report the same thing appears to be happening with Milwaukee and Cleveland.   Officially, Milwaukee and Cleveland are in the Third Round. However, S4GRU.com can reveal to you that the dates for RF Design and backhaul dates for these two markets are significantly earlier than other 3rd Round markets. Additionally, in a Network Vision schedule update S4GRU obtained a few weeks ago, both the Milwaukee and Cleveland markets engineering schedules moved up from previous schedules. And are now the same as Phoenix and Tucson.   Photo of Milwaukee skyline from Lake Michigan provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Photo by Michael D. Strande.   Now with the latest schedule updates, the Milwaukee and Cleveland markets engineering and design are only 30 days later than what is shown for the last 2nd Round markets. Whereas 3rd Round markets are typically 4 to 5 months later. However, even with the improved dates, Samsung still shows these two markets being in the 3rd Round.   Are these markets being moved up to the Second Round? Will they be in a no man's land schedule wise between the 2nd and 3rd round with Phoenix and Tucson? We cannot say with certainty at this time.   It appears that something is afoot. We will continue to monitor schedule progress and let all of you know of any more changes that occur with Milwaukee and Cleveland. If I were a betting man, I would wager that you will start seeing sites come live before the end of the 2nd Round. Photo of Cleveland skyline provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.   Sprint 4G Rollout Updates also recently seen some new documents at the end of last week that could provide a little hope for two additional markets. We are reviewing the details more thoroughly and may have an article about it soon. Then, the market announcements will stop for awhile. I can't think of why we would announce 3rd Round markets so early. There is way too much variability to what can happen with their schedules. We may repeat this exercise again with 3rd and 4th Round markets later in the year.   Source: Undisclosed internal source

S4GRU

S4GRU

 

Sprint considering partnerships with fellow Rural Cellular Association members

by Scott Johnson Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 2:00 AM MDT   Sprint Nextel joined the Rural Cellular Association (RCA) in April 2011, the reasons for joining at that time could have been motivated by the proposed AT&T purchase of T-Mobile and increasing their lobbying power with the RCA. Recently though, Sprint has been working towards partnerships with other RCA members on network sharing and spectrum hosting arrangements to increase their LTE coverage footprint.   Roaming agreements are crucial to regional carriers and smaller nationwide carriers alike. Without nationwide roaming agreements, regional carriers cannot offer a competitive product. Smaller nationwide carriers like Sprint cannot compete with the likes of AT&T and Verizon without roaming agreements that extend their network over a similar footprint. When roaming agreements extend to advanced technology, it vastly benefits both the carriers and the customers.   When Lightsquared’s nationwide LTE network dissipated in the wake of GPS interference issues, so did the LTE plans of several regional carriers. These carriers had seen an opportunity to gain LTE connectivity for their customers without the need to use their own spectrum. They also would have avoided trying to work with device manufacturers to procure equipment that will work on their spectrum, which is often fragmented among different bands or resides on different band classes from on which LTE is currently being deployed. AT&T and Verizon have recently come under fire for using band classes that are not interoperable with the other 700mhz frequencies for which these regional carriers hold licenses, prompting the FCC to look into addressing interoperability concerns. This lack of interoperability would significantly increase the price of a 700mhz LTE device for other smaller carriers. The carriers lack the spectral resources to deploy LTE on other bands without refarming spectrum and affecting their legacy services. The spectrum is unable to be refarmed at this point because the carriers still need to maintain 3G and voice services on those bands to provide acceptable service to their customers.   Sprint's Projected LTE Coverage at completion of Network Vision in early 2014. Enter Sprint, with their nationwide spectrum holdings and flexible Network Vision equipment. With RCA President and CEO Steve Berry pushing members to cooperate on LTE deployments, Sprint is possibly the most attractive partner for regional carriers. Sprint’s Network Vision technology can allow regional carriers to continue providing access to their legacy services while adding LTE to their lineup. Sprint could also enter into an agreement with carriers similar to how Lightsquared was going to partner with Sprint. Sprint could provide the spectrum and equipment to broadcast 1900mhz LTE from the regional carrier’s towers as they upgrade their existing equipment in exchange for usage credits.  With spectrum hosting and roaming agreements, Sprint's footprint could look more like the RCA's collective footprint.   A unified RCA, partnering on LTE through network sharing and spectrum hosting arrangements could provide service covering 95% of the United States and give AT&T and Verizon wireless a major competitor. It could also provide access to advanced technology to rural customers who otherwise lack many of the internet connectivity options that those living in urban areas have enjoyed for years.   Sources: Wirelessweek (2) Photos courtesy of RCA

pyroscott

pyroscott

 

The dynamics of carrier loyalty are shifting

by Jeff Foster Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Friday, March 30, 2012 - 1:09 PM MDT   Prior to the rise of smartphones, carrier loyalty was tied more to network coverage – and for many it still is. Consumers don’t want to worry about signal strength or proximity to a cellular tower in order to place a call. At their most basic level, phones have to work for their primary purpose. In the early days of cellular, there wasn’t much difference between most voice-only handsets.   Of course there were fashion and size considerations, or interest in devices that offered a wider range of compatible accessories, but until six to eight years ago, phones were just phones. Then along came the smartphone, and with it more device styles and functions and a greater range of capabilities.   Then there are those one night stand smartphoners...   Smartphone users are among the least likely to stick with their carrier, and 31 percent of U.S. consumers are ready to switch wireless carriers for better or improved services. Even with the rising cost of early termination fees, carrier loyalty is fragile at best, with only 17 percent of consumers claiming their current network provider is the only carrier they will continue to use.   That startling decline in loyalty is causing wireless companies to rethink the way they do business. In 2011, the average length of relationships between carriers and their under-contract customers fell to an all-time low of 48 months. The trend has been building for a few years and what’s surprising is how quickly it accelerated. In 2010, the average customer-carrier relationship was 59 months -- nearly a full year longer.   The biggest decline came among smaller cell phone companies, but large carriers like Verizon, AT&T and Sprint didn't fare much better. Their average relationships with customers under contract lasted just 51 months. If customers are going to cut and run frequently, carriers will need to rethink their pricing models -- particularly when it comes to expensive smartphones.   I'll glad pay you Tuesday, for that high priced smartphone today...   Is that Sprint yellow, or is it just me? Carriers have been encouraging customers to upgrade to smartphones because the devices bring in a new revenue stream. Most carriers then charge smartphone customers a premium for data usage, with plans averaging about $25 per month. But what carriers didn't anticipate were the incredible costs of keeping smartphone customers satisfied.  To get smartphones down to the magic price point of $200, carriers pay an average subsidy of $280 for each device -- four times as much as the $70 average subsidy on a feature phone. Plus, smartphone customers use data, and a lot of it, requiring wireless companies to spend tens of billions of dollars each year improving their 3G network capacity and building out their 4G networks.   Meanwhile, average revenue per smartphone user is actually declining. As data use grows, people are talking on their phones less. The average consumer used just 638 voice minutes per month in 2011, down from 720 minutes in 2010. Customers are cutting back their voice plans, sending carriers' average revenue per smartphone user down to $83 per month last year. That's a drop from $86 in 2010 and $93 from 2009.   How much longer can the industry afford to subsidize smartphones and not receive a loyalty benefit back?   Less loyalty, growing subsidies, higher infrastructure costs and declining revenues have created an unsustainable dynamic for carriers. Profit margins are falling, and analysts expect the trend to get worse.   That means the business model is changing and carriers have few options. First, they can increase prices on their phones. That's already started to happen. Verizon and AT&T now offer a small selection of 4G phones for more than $200, with some as high as $300.   Another tactic is for them to pressure handset manufacturers to reduce device costs. Some may bargain, but the maker of the single most popular smartphone -- Apple's iPhone -- is no pushover. Carriers are even trying to retain customers by offering incentives, such as device buyback programs and are considering leasing plans. Finally, cell phone companies may switch to the "bring your own device" model that is popular overseas.  North American carriers have embraced the subsidy model for decades for two reasons: incompatible technologies presented steep obstacles to switching, and the subsidy model seemed to build customer loyalty.   "The mobile industry has reached a point where the economics of the current subsidy model associated with acquiring new and upgrading existing customers to costly smartphones have become increasingly difficult to sustain," said Pierre-Alain Sur, PwC's global communications industry leader.   Now, the whole industry is migrating to the 4G-LTE standard. With loyalty going out the window, carriers may drop subsidies and contracts altogether. Whichever option carriers choose, they will have to act fast, Sur thinks.   "They are going to have to determine what's going to be the business model of the future," he said. "Carriers are at an inflection point.".         http://money.cnn.com...?source=cnn_bin http://gigaom.com/20...ty-is-fleeting/ http://news.cnet.com.../?tag=cnetRiver

legion125

legion125

 

Silver Lining for Phoenix and Tucson/Yuma Markets...the schedule appears to be moving up for the Grand Canyon State

by Robert Herron Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Friday, March 30, 2012 - 1:46 AM MDT   What about Phoenix? What about Phoenix? What about Phoenix???   I get asked that every day. Sometimes several times per day! On social media, our forum pages and our chat rooms are filled with Phoenicians and Arizonans who feel they have been more than patient with Sprint awaiting for first 4G WiMax and now just even to hear an announcement on 4G LTE.   And here we are, S4GRU.com has announced all of the markets that Sprint has planned for the First Two rounds of Network Vision/LTE deployment. There was no mention of Phoenix in any of those continual announcements. What gives?   Officially, Phoenix and its market neighbor Tucson/Yuma are in the Third Round. However, S4GRU.com can reveal to you that the dates for RF Design and backhaul dates for these two markets are significantly earlier than other 3rd Round markets. Additionally, in a Network Vision schedule update S4GRU obtained a few weeks ago, both the Phoenix and Tucson/Yuma markets engineering schedules moved up from previous schedules.   Now with the latest schedule updates, the Phoenix and Tucson/Yuma markets engineering and design are only 30 days later than what is shown for the last 2nd Round markets. Whereas 3rd Round markets are typically 4 to 5 months later. However, even with the improved dates, Alcatel/Lucent still shows these two markets being in the 3rd Round.   Photo of Downtown Phoenix provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.   Are these markets being moved up to the Second Round? Will they be in a no man's land schedule wise between the 2nd and 3rd round? Did someone realize that it would be crazy to do this work in Arizona at the hottest part of the year in 2013, so it should be moved up to Winter? We cannot say with certainty at this time.   It appears that something is a foot. We will continue to monitor schedule progress and let all of you in Arizona know if there are any more changes. I am now cautiously optimistic for you Phoenicians. If I were a betting man, I would wager that you will start seeing sites come live before the end of the 2nd Round.   Photo of Tucson provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.   We will also be announcing two more markets in the same boat in an article on Monday morning. Then, the market announcements will stop for awhile. I can't think of why we would announce 3rd Round markets so early. There is way too much variability to what can happen with their schedules. We may repeat this exercise again with 3rd and 4th Round markets later in the year.   Source: Undisclosed internal source

S4GRU

S4GRU

 

Could there be one iPhone to rule the world’s LTE networks?

by Scott Johnson Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 12:47 PM MDT   When Apple first released the iPhone in 2007, they introduced a technological renaissance. The iPhone ushered in the “smartphone era” bringing phone technology to an entirely new level. Since the iPhone release, the iPhone has seen some technological advancement along the way, but not to the degree of changing the industry.   The next iPhone is not only expected to introduce LTE capability to the line, but it may also be a true world phone, connecting to nearly every network technology. There could potentially be a single iPhone model that could be activated on nearly any carrier with the swap of a SIM card. Many carriers will undoubtedly impose a SIM lock, to keep the phone on their carrier, but it has the potential.   Many technologies, one tiny chip   At the heart of this advancement is the Qualcomm MDM9615 from Qualcomm’s GOBI line. This multiple device modem (MDM) chip supports both voice and data over LTE (FDD and TDD)as well as connecting to EV-DO Rev A and B, HSPA+, dual carrier HSPA+, and TD-SCDMA. With the added support of voice over LTE this phone could also be one of the first to support VoLTE.   All this in the tiny iPhone form factor   The MDM9615 will pair with Qualcomm’s WTR1605 and PM8018 integrated circuits to combine multiple mode and multiple band connectivity, low power consumption, and small footprint. The WTR1605 is Qualcomm’s first wafer level radio transceiver and will allow LTE FDD, LTE TDD, CDMA, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA and GSM connections. The PM8018 will provide efficient power management at the wafer level. The only sticking point for Apple is how to fit all the antennas, PA's and filters for all the different bands into the iPhone without significantly increasing the size. This may keep them from being able to introduce a “world” phone and have to settle for regional or carrier specific models with the components to support the bands the carriers use.   But will it retain Apple’s iconic battery life?[float right][/float]     First generation LTE chips are energy hogs, which may be why Apple opted to skip the addition of LTE to their iPhone 4S. The 28nm MDM9615 may be just what Apple was waiting for in order to retain their small form factor and still give outstanding battery life. Not only will the 28nm chip have a reduction in size, but when paired with Qualcomm’s Power Optimized Envelope Tracking (Q-POET) the chip will see further enhanced power efficiency and heat management.   What we know   As of this point, Apple is only reviewing potential components for their next iPhone, but the fact that they are reviewing these specific components leads many to believe that they will utilize the components to their maximum potential. Apple generally is leak proof, which means that we will have to wait until an official announcement until we have confirmation of what will be included in the newest installation of their iPhone line. The combination of these chips may not even see the Apple device first. An Android OEM may be already working on this and introduce a phone with the wide capabilities possible with this chipset.     Sources: Qualcomm (2) Simonblog Engadget AppleInsider Baseband RF Photo courtesy of Barklay's Research

pyroscott

pyroscott

Mark Hearn of SprintFeed.com on to a New Position with TechnoBuffalo

by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 11:10 AM MDT   Mark Hearn, the founder, editor and daily operator of SprintFeed.com is closing shop and heading on to new opportunities as an Editor at TechnoBuffalo. We will be sad to see him go from the daily news makings at Sprint. I personally visited SprintFeed.com several times per day. I have enjoyed my interactions with Mark talking about Sprint and about personal issues. We even share a similar faith.   Mark: Thank you for your contributions to the online community and for Sprint fans. We wish you the best of luck with your new endeavors at TechnoBuffalo. We look forward to seeing you in your new role and we rejoice with you at this wonderful opportunity! Robert and the S4GRU Team!   I would encourage everyone to stop by and thank Mark for his service!   Source: http://www.sprintfee...come-to-an-end/

S4GRU

S4GRU

 

Stop freaking out...the next iPhone will be on Sprint's network

by Scott Johnson Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 10:44 AM MDT   Fear not Sprint iPhone fans, Sprint will not be left out when the next iPhone model is released. There has been speculation that Apple may only manufacture LTE enabled iPhones to AT&T and Verizon after the iPad with LTE connectivity was only released for those carriers. While he didn’t come out and confirm that Sprint would be receiving a LTE iPhone, Sprint Nextel CFO Joe Eutenuer went on record saying that "we will not be disadvantaged" when it comes to selling the iPhone, adding that Sprint has the same contract as AT&T and Verizon for selling the iPhone.   This contract that the carriers have also does not have LTE coverage requirements, so even if the iPhone is released earlier than expected, Sprint shouldn't be excluded due to less LTE coverage than the AT&T or VZW. This comes as good news for current customers who have held off their purchase of an iPhone because the 3G speeds in their area are lagging and they are prefer a 4G WiMax handset.   If you build it, he will come   [float right][/float]There is still no guarantee that the new iPhone will support LTE, but all signs point to the next generation iPhone boasting LTE connectivity. AT&T made the decision to move away from their HSPA+ 3.5G network and aggressively push LTE. Sprint also made the decision to aggressively rollout a LTE network, instead of continuing with Clearwire’s WiMax. Possibly the most telling sign was when the new iPad was announced to have LTE connectivity.   Thanks to Sprint’s “Network Vision” plan, there will be plenty of LTE towers for iPhone fans to consume unlimited data at 4G speeds. By this Fall, when the iPhone is speculated to release, Sprint will have LTE service in nearly all major markets and will be starting work in many other markets. Sprint’s Network Vision is expected to have 100-120 million POPs covered by LTE by the end of the year. And you know you will get all the latest LTE deployment info here at S4GRU.com!   Sources: Nasdaq SprintFeed Fierce Wireless

pyroscott

pyroscott

 

South West Florida and Ft. Wayne/South Bend are slated to begin Sprint Network Vision/LTE in the 2nd Round of 2012 Deployment

by Robert Herron Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 3:41 AM MDT   Sprint fans in the plains of Northern Indiana and also along the white sandy beaches of Florida's Paradise Coast have cause to celebrate! We are now prepared to tell you about the final pair of Round Two markets in Sprint's Network Vision/LTE deployment plans for 2012...   South West Florida and Ft. Wayne/South Bend!   Sprint's South West Florida market   Sprint's Network Vision vendor Ericsson is scheduled to begin the South West Florida market in the middle of the Second Round. Ericsson and their subcontractors are tentatively scheduled to begin mobilization into the Sarasota/Ft. Myers area in August 2012 with the first sites should start to come live around Labor Day weekend.   Sprint's South West Florida market covers Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties. Including the cities of Sarasota, Bradenton, Cape Coral, Ft. Myers, Naples, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Venice and Marco Island. It is bordered by the Tampa market to the north and Miami/West Palm market to the east. The SW Florida market will have 208 sites in total after Network Vision is complete.   Sprint's SW Florida Market. All 200+ Network Vision sites are shown for the SW Florida market in this map. Click on image to enlarge.   Sprint's Ft. Wayne/South Bend market   Sprint's Network Vision vendor Samsung is scheduled to begin the FWA/SBN market later in the Second Round. Samsung and their subcontractors are scheduled to begin to start Network Vision/LTE deployment work late in the Fall in the Northern Indiana area.   This Sprint market includes all of Northern Indiana. It includes Fort Wayne, South Bend, Marion, Elkhart, Mishawaka, Logansport, Warsaw, Goshen, Plymouth and Wabash. It is bordered by the West Michigan market to the north, Chicago market to the west, Indianapolis market to the south and Toledo market to the east. A total of 191 Network Vision sites.   Sprint's Ft. Wayne/South Bend Market. All of the approximately 190+ Network Vision sites are shown for the FWA/SBN market in this map. Click on image to enlarge.   Although we know the scheduled start date...   It's exciting that we can tell you the start dates of the SW Florida and Ft. Wayne/South Bend markets. However, we cannot guarantee at this time that things will not change. Sprint has not officially announced these markets and for good reason.   Sprint has three different OEM vendors, with several different crews in many markets at once. There could be final permitting and design delays, some vendors and/or crews will work at different speeds, weather issues and any number of unforeseen circumstances to complicate matters even further.   The work hasn't started and they are keeping their options open. Sprint has said they may elect to slow down Network Vision in future quarters if cash flow becomes strained. And this could affect these markets.   All of these reasons explain why Sprint likely elected not to announce these markets themselves at this time. But we know you don't want to wait for Sprint to tell you! With these caveats understood, we are releasing the information about these markets as it exists to date.   Photo of SW Florida's Bonita Bay courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.   We won't stop digging for you!   Sprint 4G Rollout Updates will continue to scour through the data and gather deployment information for your use. It is our intent to provide at a minimum, all the Sprint markets that will likely begin Network Vision/LTE upgrades in 2012. And we intend to release the remaining unnamed markets in the next week. We will not likely announce communities slated for 2013, because the dates we hold for 2013 markets appear very tentative and subject to change. With many variables to sort out between now and 2013. Sprint could make significant shifts in deployment plans based on dynamic need change, funding, market permitting difficulties, etc.   With the release of South West Florida and Ft. Wayne/South Bend markets today, that brings the total of Network Vision markets announced to 41. We have have a thread in our forums where we are keeping track of all the markets announced by Sprint and S4GRU.com. Click on this link here to view the Network Vision Market Running List.   Stay tuned to Sprint 4G Rollout Updates. On Friday we will be releasing a special edition article regarding two markets with unique circumstance. You won't want to miss it. We will be talking about it in a few hours in advance in a S4GRU Live Chat at 9:30 PM Mountain Time on Thursday evening. Come join us!   Photo of Ft. Wayne skyline courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.   Information about the source: The information for all of our Network Vision information has been freely provided by several sources close to the Network Vision program who choose to remain anonymous. No source information will be released to protect anonymity.   Special thanks to S4GRU Member digiblur for creating the South West Florida and Ft. Wayne/South Bend market maps! Thank you!

S4GRU

S4GRU

 

HTC EVO 3D free from Sprint and Wirefly for new lines/accounts

Danny Bullard Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 8:59 PM MDT   Looking to buy a smartphone but not looking to spend $200+? Look no further! WireFly and Sprint are selling HTC EVO 3D for a low price of $0, yes free. Requires you to be a new customer or adding a new line of service.   The EVO 3D can still hang with some of the higher end smart phones. The 3D has a dual core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, 4.3" qHD display and dual 5MP cameras that can take 3D shots and video. Plus, the EVO 3D is slated to get Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich this year.   So, who will be heading over to WireFly's site or Sprint's site to order a free EVO 3D? Or, are you waiting for Sprint's LTE Galaxy Nexus? Sound off in the comments!       Source: Sprint, Wirefly

JustAGeekHere

JustAGeekHere

Sprint continues Nextel iDEN site thinning measures at full-steam ahead!

Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Update
Monday, March 26, 2012 - 6:41 PM MDT   Sprint continues its iDEN thinning plan that it announced a few months ago in full force. It is wrapping up the removal of 83 sites in the Nextel New Orleans market and readily preparing to mobilize nationwide in 20 of 21 remaining Nextel markets to do the same. Based on newly obtained internal documents, from mid April 2012 through the end of June, Sprint plans on decommissioning over 9,000 of Nextel's approximate 32,000 total site count. Just under one third the total Nextel iDEN network. This will save Sprint a lot of operational dollars in 2012.   Might as well save a few bucks... It has been in the plans for some time now for Sprint to fully decommission the entire Nextel iDEN network in 2013. Sprint will be reusing the 800MHz SMR spectrum that Nextel's iDEN network currently uses and reallocate that to be used on its new Network Vision platform. The new uses will include CDMA voice (1xAdvanced) and 4G LTE for high speed data. These are seen as critical for mid and long term capacity, as well as helping Sprint customers with building penetration. It is no secret that Sprint is shedding Nextel subscribers at a high rate. And since the epitaph for the iDEN network has already been written, it makes a lot of financial sense for Sprint to start taking down many iDEN sites now, leaving a minimum amount of coverages left for the remaining Nextel subscribers. Sprint has said in the past that the Nextel network capacity was significantly over built in most urban areas in order to allow for future subscriber growth. The high growth rates never materialized post Sprint and Nextel merger. Sprint is largely identifying these extra sites for removal. These provide significant operational costs without much advantage. However, there have been anecdotal reports already that thinning in the New Orleans market has created reduced amounts of coverage.
Those waskily wabbits!!! Sprint originally created a iDEN Thinning site to help customers understand what was going on. However, competing wireless carriers were using this data to try and specifically target affected customers in order to gain subscribers. Sprint has had to take the information offline because of the exploitative nature their competitors engaged in.   Nextel's 22 Markets. Each Nextel market is shown with a number in blue listing number of sites before the 2012 Thinning and the number in green showing the number to remain after thinning. A total of 9,775 sites being taken offline. Click on image to enlarge.   The select iDEN site decommissioning (thinning) has already started occurring in the New Orleans market and should be wrapped up completely by the middle of April. The rest of Nextel's market will begin in earnest in April. See market break downs below.   April 2012 New Orleans (completes) Atlanta Baltimore/DC Minnesota Denver Pacific Northwest May 2012 Northern California Southern California New England Philadelphia St. Louis Syracuse Detroit Phoenix June 2012 Tennessee Texas New York Chicago Ohio Carolinas Florida Will not be thinned in advance Hawaii

S4GRU

S4GRU

 

The Sprint markets of Memphis & Minnesota are slated to begin Network Vision/LTE in the 2nd Half of 2012

by Robert Herron Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 1:29 AM MDT     From the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes to the gates of Graceland! We are now prepared to tell you about two more Round Two markets in Sprint's Network Vision/LTE deployment plans for 2012...   Memphis and Minnesota!   Sprint's Memphis market   Sprint's Network Vision vendor Ericsson is scheduled to begin the Memphis market early in the Second Round. Ericsson and their subcontractors are scheduled to begin mobilization into Memphis in June 2012 with the first sites starting to come live before 4th of July weekend.   Sprint's Memphis market covers Western Tennessee, Northeastern Arkansas, the little boot of Missouri and Northern Mississippi. Including the cities of Memphis, Jackson, Union City and Dyersburg in Tennessee; Jonesboro, Paragould, Blytheville and Forrest City in Arkansas; Tupelo, Columbus, Starkville, Oxford, and Greenwood in Mississippi. It is bordered by the Arkansas market to the west, the Mississippi market to the south, Alabama and Nashville markets to the east and the Missouri and West Kentucky markets to the north. The Memphis market will have 333 sites in total after Network Vision is complete.   Sprint's Memphis Market. All 330+ Network Vision sites are shown for the Memphis market in this map. Click on image to enlarge.   Sprint's Minnesota market   Sprint's Network Vision vendor Samsung is scheduled to begin the Minnesota market later in the Second Round. Sammy and their bands of merry men are scheduled to begin to start work late in the Fall in Minnesota. This seems like a less than ideal time to start work in a place like the Upper Midwest. But if you live in this market, you have to welcome this over having to wait until Spring thaw. Although the weather this past winter would have been ideal for Winter work!   Sprint's Minnesota market is East Central, Northeast and Southeast Minnesota, as well as Western Wisconsin. It includes Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Duluth, St. Cloud, Mankato, Austin, Winona, Grand Rapids and Brainerd in Minnesota; Eau Claire, La Crosse and Superior in Wisconsin. It is bordered by the Dakotas market to the west, North Wisconsin market to the east and Central Iowa market to the south. A total of 807 Network Vision sites.   Sprint's Minnesota Market. All of the approximately 800+ Network Vision sites are shown for the Minnesota market in this map. Click on image to enlarge.   Although we know the scheduled start date...   It's exciting that we can tell you the start dates of the Memphis and Minnesota markets. However, we cannot guarantee at this time that things will not change. Sprint has not officially announced these markets and for good reason.   Sprint has three different OEM vendors, with several different crews in many markets at once. There could be final permitting and design delays, some vendors and/or crews will work at different speeds, weather issues and any number of unforeseen circumstances to complicate matters even further.   The work hasn't started and they are keeping their options open. Sprint has said they may elect to slow down Network Vision in future quarters if cash flow becomes strained. And this could affect these markets.   All of these reasons explain why Sprint likely elected not to announce these markets themselves at this time. But we know you don't want to wait for Sprint to tell you! With these caveats understood, we are releasing the information about these markets as it exists to date.   Photo of Memphis skyline courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.   We won't stop digging for you!   Sprint 4G Rollout Updates will continue to scour through the data and gather deployment information for your use. It is our intent to provide at a minimum, all the Sprint markets that will likely begin Network Vision/LTE upgrades in 2012. And we intend to release the remaining unnamed markets in the next week. We will not likely announce communities slated for 2013, because the dates we hold for 2013 markets appear very tentative and subject to change. With many variables to sort out between now and 2013. Sprint could make significant shifts in deployment plans based on dynamic need change, funding, market permitting difficulties, etc.   With the release of Memphis and Minnesota markets today, that brings the total of Network Vision markets announced to 39. We have have a thread in our forums where we are keeping track of all the markets announced by Sprint and S4GRU.com. Click on this link here to view the Network Vision Market Running List.   Stay tuned to Sprint 4G Rollout Updates. On Wednesday we will be releasing our Final two Round Two markets for Sprint Network Vision and LTE deployment. We will be talking about it in a few hours in advance in a S4GRU Live Chat at 9:30 PM Mountain Time on Tuesday evening. Come join us!   Photo of Minneapolis skyline courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.   Information about the source: The information for all of our Network Vision information has been freely provided by several sources close to the Network Vision program who choose to remain anonymous. No source information will be released to protect anonymity.   Special thanks to S4GRU Member digiblur for creating the Memphis and Minnesota market maps! Thank you!

S4GRU

S4GRU

 

Yeehaw! Austin is moving up to the First Round of Sprint Network Vision/LTE Deployment with some sites already live!

Robert Herron Sprint 4G Rollout Update Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 10:30 AM MDT   BREAKING NEWS and a S4GRU.com EXCLUSIVE...We have some good news for y'all in the Heart of the Lone Star State! Sprint's Austin market is now confirmed to be in the First Round of Network Vision/LTE deployment.   Austin was originally slated to be in the beginning of the Second Round of deployment. However, since the original Network Vision schedules were compiled back in October 2011, Austin has apparently been moved up. Ericsson is the Network Vision OEM Contractor that oversees the Austin market. Ericsson has created a 4G LTE FIT (field testing area) within the Austin market just south of the city of Waco.   It now appears that Ericsson and its subcontractors are rolling right out of this 4G LTE FIT and right into full scale deployment. In the latest Network Vision schedules obtained, Ericsson will be deploying a total of 19 sites within the FIT area. Starting in April they will continue deployment steadily across the market.   Phased for your LTE enjoyment   The Austin market deployment is now made up of two phases. The first phase is scheduled to run into July 2012. It's at the end of Phase 1 that Sprint will come out and announce that the Austin market is live! Phase 1 includes approximately 50% of all the sites that will receive Network Vision and LTE upgrades. Phase 2 will continue immediately after the conclusion of Phase 1 until the entire markets completes around the end of October. Live Network Vision sites - Austin market. There are six sites currently live in the Austin market in the Waco 4G LTE FIT.   There are already six sites live in the Waco FIT area (shown in the map above). These are reported to have full Network Vision upgrades including 4G LTE already operating. Granted, that LTE is unusable to Sprint customers at the moment, as there currently aren't any Sprint 4G LTE devices on the market. Although we have reported that will change soon with the releases of the Galaxy Nexus and LG Viper that are anticipated on April 15th.   You won't need to wait until launch to enjoy some early LTE goodness   Even though the formal launch of the Austin market is not anticipated until July 2012, Sprint is planning to allow all of its customers who do buy LTE devices the ability to use the LTE service prior to market launch, should they find themselves in an area with LTE coverage. Sprint plans to instruct its sales and customer service channels that customers may discover LTE in their market prior to launch, but it is not "optimized" for use until formal launch announcement. However they will be encouraged to use their LTE, but with the caveat that LTE services in their area are not supported until formal launch. In other words, don't call and complain to them if it goes down!   In the Austin market, there is anticipated to be 35 sites live when LTE devices are expected to go on sale. And there will be over 200 sites live when the market is formally launched in June. So there will be several months of unofficial LTE sites coming live across the market. If you live in the Austin market and are one of the early LTE device buyers, you will need to scan for a LTE signal every couple of days. Because that 4G LTE signal could just jump out at you at any moment! Unofficially, of course!     Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.   Source: The information for all of our Network Vision information has been freely provided by several sources close to the Network Vision program who choose to remain anonymous. No source information will be released to protect anonymity.

S4GRU

S4GRU

 

Could we see a non-HTC “Evo” make its way to Sprint’s shelves?

Scott Johnson Sprint 4G Rollout Update Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 5:00 AM MDT   Every Evo ever released on Sprint’s network has been manufactured by HTC. Does this necessarily mean that it is exclusive to HTC? The “Droid” line of Verizon phones have been manufactured by Motorola, HTC and Samsung. Would Sprint consider extending the Evo name to another handset maker as Verizon has done?   Sprint and Evo   [float right][/float]The Evo “franchise” has defined Sprint’s Android line of phones since the HTC Evo 4G burst onto the scene and redefined the way we look at smartphones. The mere fact that Sprint still sells the device nearly 2 years after its release is telling of how great a handset it is. HTC followed up the success of the Evo 4G with the HTC Evo Shift 4G, a slider phone with a physical keyboard. The HTC Evo 3D is seen by some as the successor to the original Evo, but others see it as a whole different offering, due to its inclusion of 3D camera and glasses-free 3D screen. The final smartphone in the Evo series is the smaller, lighter, world phone, the HTC Evo Design 4G. HTC also produced a tablet with Evo badging, the 7 inch HTC Evo View 4G.   Verizon and Droid   [float left][/float]   Similar to Sprint's Evo line, the “Droid” line of phones has defined Verizon’s high-end Android powered phones. Some argue that the Droid line has been watered down with a steady stream of Droid badged phones hitting shelves. There have been 15 “Droids” released starting with the Motorola Droid in October 2009. This amounts to a new Droid every 2 months on average. Motorola has accounted for nearly 75% of the models, but HTC (3) and Samsung (1) have also provided Droid branded models to Verizon.     My-Touch   T-Mobile’s “my-touch” line, while not known as high end phones, but more of a family friendly line, has seen models from HTC and LG. Even Huawei is rumored to be manufacturing a my-touch model for T-Mobile’s network.   Samsung Galaxy   [float right][/float]One might say that the Evo branding is HTC’s brand, similar to how Samsung has used the “galaxy” branding. Samsung has released “galaxy” smartphones, tablets and even android powered media players. The difference is that Samsung’s use of the galaxy badge has extended across carriers and, as seen with the media players, extended to non-wireless carrier electronics. The Evo brand has stayed with Sprint, with no “Evo” branded electronics being released (other than an international GSM version of the Evo 3D) which makes it appear to be Sprint exclusive.   What does the Evo future hold?   What can we expect from Sprint’s Evo line moving forward? Many think that the HTC Jet will be the next in the Evo line, but it has been rumored on this very site that HTC may abandon the Evo name to consolidate their product line. With the original Evo and Evo Shift getting “long in the tooth,” will Sprint find successors from any willing manufacturer to refresh their iconic line with a slab and slider? What manufacturers should Sprint consider, and would those manufacturers be willing to shed their own brands and assume the Evo branding? Should Sprint let the Evo name ride off into the sunset if HTC abandons the line? There are a lot of questions surrounding the name “Evo,” but we could see at least a partial answer on April 4th when HTC and Sprint announce their most recent collaboration.

pyroscott

pyroscott

 

The Subsidy Quandary...Do you prefer cheaper phones or cheaper plans?

Scott Johnson Sprint 4G Rollout Update Saturday, March 24, 2012 - 4:14 PM MDT   What would you do to get a $20 per line discount on your monthly bill? Would you pay full price for your cellphone? That is what Cole Brodman, T-Mobile’s Chief Marketing Officer would like to see happen. In fact, T-Mobile already offers a discounted plan for customers who forego a subsidy on their device. This works out fairly well for T-Mobile’s GSM customers who want to use an unlocked international or AT&T phone instead of T-Mobile’s subsidized offerings, but will it catch on with other carriers? Will customers who have grown accustomed to inexpensive upgrades suffer sticker shock at the prospect of a $650 replacement for their cellphone?   If you think about it, the customer is probably better off using the unsubsidized route, unless they buy one of the highest subsidy phones as soon as they are eligible, every time. Carriers are also protected because they have nothing to lose if the customer walks away from their contract, only an ETF to gain. The only catch is that carriers are more likely to retain their customers if they offer an upgrade 4 months prior to the expiration of the contract, in exchange for a new 24 month contract. Carriers and many customers are addicted to this retention method and it would likely take an industry-wide effort to change the way business is conducted.   [float right][/float]The customer would win with the increased competition among cell phone manufacturers. If the manufacturers are forced to compete with each other on price, we would likely see prices drop thanks to bargain brands like ZTE and Huawei. Currently the cell phone carrier just adds a different subsidy to the cheaper priced cell phones. Prepaid plans already use this model, but they tend to get the older and cheaper models instead of the flagships to reduce the sticker shock and upfront cost to their customers.   [float left][/float]T-Mobile is currently offering unsubsidized plans under the “Value” line of plans. An individual value plan with unlimited minutes, text and data (with 2GB of high speed data) currently will run $59.99 plus applicable fees and taxes per month. A comparable plan from the “classic” line with the subsidized handset will cost $79.99. T-Mobile even offers interest free loans that tack on a payment to the monthly bill if a customer elects to not pay the full price up front. $20 per month adds up to $400 over the 20 months that customers normally wait for their next upgrade. The only catch with this plan is that you still sign a 2-year contract, something that customers who buy their phone outright usually detest. It has been noted by T-Mobile sales staff that customers do not understand the difference in plans and customers who receive a subsidized phone complain that there is a lower priced plan and want to be switched over.   [float right][/float]A $480 savings on a 2-year agreement trumps almost every device subsidy. The iPhone 4S currently retails for $650, but sells for $199 with a 2-year contract equaling a $450 subsidy which comes close, but not quite. Even the Samsung Galaxy Note only commands a $350 subsidy. Ironically, the HTC Titan retails at $549 and sells for $0.01 making it the most subsidized handset. It is quite possible that a good chunk of that subsidy comes from Microsoft, in an effort to gain market share at the cost of their own profit.   [float left][/float]Ending carrier subsidies might be seen as a step towards the wireless carrier becoming a "dumb pipe" or the carrier being nothing more than the provider of minutes and data bytes, with no customized services. U.S. carriers have resisted becoming dumb pipes because carriers wouldn't see the end user profits from their additional services and it will inspire less brand loyalty. Carriers have already lost a lot of revenue thanks to iTunes and Google Play, among others. The carriers used to offer their own multimedia offerings to increase their revenue, but much of that is now going to Apple and Google, thanks to the trend towards carriers becoming dumb pipes for smartphone users.   So what do you think? Would you like to see Sprint follow T-Mobile’s lead and reduce prices in exchange for dropping subsidies? Or does Sprint need to keep subsidies to continue the smartphone welfare? Using the customers that choose the cheaper handsets or keep their handset past their upgrade date to offset the higher subsidy on the iPhone or other high subsidy handsets.     Source HotHardware T-Mobile Phonearena

pyroscott

pyroscott

 

Data usage continues to explode in unlimited channels. Is Clearwire positioned to be LTE relief for all Wireless Carriers?

Jeff Foster Sprint 4G Rollout Update Saturday, March 24, 2012 - 12:18 PM MDT     The forerunner of Clearwire was a Texas based company then known as Clearwire Technologies, Inc. Clearwire Technologies raised at least $100 million and used it to acquire spectrum allocated to various educational institutions known as EBS or Educational Broadband Service.   In 2007, Clearwire and Sprint Nextel announced a partnership to accelerate deployment of WiMAX technology across the US. In 2008, Sprint's new CEO Dan Hesse started serious discussions about forming a joint venture between the two companies in the hopes of bringing in outside funding. Sprint owns 54% of the firm; a consortium of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Intel, Google and Bright House Networks investing $3.2 billion and owning the balance.   Jump to today, and CLEAR 4G is available in 35 of the top 40 MSAs in the country covering 130 million people. Clearwire has had its shares of setbacks in the past several years with the promise of WiMax fading and the explosive growth of the newest 4G standard – LTE. Even with this impediment, Clearwire has something to crow about.   Clearwire TD-LTE is headed to some of the highest demand areas first Clearwire CFO Hope Cochran, speaking at a conference sponsored by Goldman Sachs, said her company has the resources that even the top national wireless carriers should envy. Cochran pointed out that Clearwire's network usage jumped more than 700% in 2011. The important thing to note here is that most of that data torrent was driven not by new subscribers, but by existing subscribers greatly increasing their data usage. "Customers are finding more applications and downloading more videos," she said.   This, according to Cochran, will be the Achilles' heel for AT&T and Verizon, as well as for Sprint. Sprint will launch its LTE network in mid-2012. Cochran estimates that the LTE network that Sprint will deploy will be able to handle only 5.6 terabytes of data per site per year. AT&T and Verizon, which operate in a different frequency range, will have 22 terabytes per site per year capacity.   Clearwire's network carries 22 terabytes today. The company has ~16,000 WiMax cell sites and about one-half of them carry 80 percent to 90 percent of Clearwire's network traffic. Clearwire plans to overlay its WiMAX network with around 8,000 TD-LTE cell sites--Cochran said the move would allow Clearwire to put LTE capacity in areas where its network usage is the greatest.   Come and get it boys! Soup's on!!!   Clearwire is anticipating to have a tremendous amount of surplus capacity available. So when the big carriers run out of their capacity -- and Cochran thinks that will be sooner rather than later -- the big mobile carriers will have few options other than to divert their LTE traffic to Clearwire's network.   Clearwire's future is still very much dependent on its relationship with Sprint. If Clearwire can manage to keep its head above water until more regionals, and ultimately Verizon and AT&T reach the end of their spectrum, the network may indeed be able to reap rewards from the insatiable needs of the major carriers' subscribers.   As Cochran told the conference, "We see our own trends, and that is the appetite for data is tremendous."   Sources: Fierce Wireless, Fool.com, Wikipedia

legion125

legion125

 

iOS 5.1 confirms next generation iPhone supporting LTE

Danny Bullard Sprint 4G Rollout Update Saturday, March 24, 2012 - 10:44 AM MDT     According to iDownloadBlog, the iPhone 5, or whatever Apple decides to call it, will reportedly pack 4G LTE according to iOS 5.1 code strings. Until now, all the other LTE iPhone rumors have just been speculation and wishful thinking. The code strings says:     We can gather that this line in iOS5.1 must be created for use in the new iPhone, because the new iPad cannot make phone calls. Although it seems odd that the Apple iPhone would not support simultaneous voice and LTE. The new LTE Android devices from Sprint have been confirmed to handle SVLTE. Perhaps it just cannot be enabled while a call is in process? Or maybe it is not compatible with one or more carriers in the world?   So, if the new iPhone packs LTE connectivity with a faster processor, bigger display and the rumored aluminum casing, will you buy one on Sprint's LTE network? Assuming Sprint gets a LTE iPhone, of course. Sound off in the comments.   Photo Courtesy of BGR.com   Source: iDownloadBlog

JustAGeekHere

JustAGeekHere

 

LTE iPhone spell disaster or success for the Now Network?

Scott Johnson Sprint 4G Rollout Update Friday, March 23, 2012 - 3:14 PM MDT   Many Sprint fans were put off by the downgrade of the “S” stock and remarks of Craig Moffett of Bernstein Research released Monday morning. Moffett claimed a looming bankruptcy risk on the horizon thanks to mounting debt, Network Vision costs, and smaller channels of spectrum for their LTE network.   On top of all that, Moffett claimed that the LTE iPhone, which Sprint executives claim will secure the future of the franchise, could bring disaster for Sprint. By Friday, Shing Yin of Guggenheim Securities came out reiterating his company’s “neutral” rating on Sprint, downplaying the skepticism of Moffett and claiming that Sprint’s fledgling LTE network would handle the pressure of the LTE iPhone.   Moffett’s stance   Moffett wrote that there is “little margin for error” for the newest carrier to offer Apple’s iPhone. He believes, along with many more, that the next generation of the Apple iPhone will contain LTE connectivity. He is not convinced that Apple will manufacture a version specifically with Sprint LTE connectivity, and if they do, it will prove disastrous for Sprint.   There are several notable arguments that can be presented here. Sprint is way behind Verizon and AT&T in their LTE rollout. Also, AT&T and Verizon are using larger chunks of spectrum for LTE which will serve higher data speeds and more customers than Sprint. Further, AT&T and Verizon are also better positioned to continue to provide iPhone users with sufficient speed as data growth grows in the future.   Yin’s counterargument   Yin believes that Sprint will surely see an iPhone that will be capable of LTE connectivity. He believes that Sprint officials would not have committed to a deal of that magnitude with Apple in 2011 if they were going to get a handcuffed version the following year.   As far as lack of capacity, he expects the network will be underutilized initially, making up for a smaller LTE carrier, noting that only 5% of Verizon’s postpaid subscribers converted to LTE handsets even though Verizon has been inundating customers with an advertising campaign built on LTE and offering double data for LTE capable phones. Yin also brought up the fact that Sprint was able to convert about 10% of their postpaid customers to WiMax devices actually selling more WiMax devices in a year than Verizon sold LTE.   Customers will buy iPhones regardless   4G LTE is not likely the only technological addition to the next generation of iPhone. After the incremental upgrades on the iPhone 4S, customers were left dreaming of what could be included in the iPhone 5. Even though many customers expressed disappointment that the iPhone 4S wasn’t a generational change, it still broke iPhone single day sales records by 66%. The sales for a generational change in the iPhone could smash the sales record of the 4S.  Unless current policy is changed, Sprint has something that AT&T and Verizon are unable to offer new customers, unlimited data. Whether the data comes from 3G or 4G, new Sprint iPhone customers will be treated to an unthrottled “all you can eat buffet” of data. The “truly unlimited” offering by Sprint could even convert AT&T customers with grandfathered unlimited plans thanks to AT&T’s adoption of throttling its unlimited customers.   Many customers are unfamiliar with 4G data and what it means to them   Despite all the advertising and promotion of 4G LTE, many customers still do not know what it is and how it applies to them. Verizon sales staff may be able to promote that they offer the largest LTE network or that they are the exclusive offering of LTE in that city, but the iPhone has a wide demographic of buyers, many upgrading to their first smartphone. Initially, these new smartphone customers will not notice or care about 4G speeds, they will be overwhelmed with learning all the new features and will use less data than experienced smartphone users, putting less strain on the network.   What it all means   Sprint is definitely in a state of transition. They are in the middle of a great balancing act, between Network Vision, impending debt payments, and life support to Clearwire. If Sprint can execute Network Vision, they will streamline their entire organization, bringing network maintenance costs down, enhancing coverage, and providing customers 4G LTE technology. Sprint will become more profitable and can focus their attention on expanding their LTE offering on additional spectrum and maintaining a positive user experience.       Photos courtesy of cases.com and redmondpie.com.   Sources: http://blogs.barrons...od=yahoobarrons, http://blogs.barrons...e-lte-prospect/, http://www.readwrite...d_1_million.php

pyroscott

pyroscott

 

S4GRU Resident "Geek" on the new iPad

Danny Bullard
Sprint 4G Rollout Update
Friday, March 23, 2012 - 2:44 PM MDT



Hello S4GRU readers, today I will be giving my verdict on the new iPad. I will tell you what I like about the new iPad and what I don't like about the new iPad. Let's get started...



What I like about the new iPad

1.) After using the iPad for a few minutes at BestBuy, I fell in love with it's beautiful retina display. This display's PPI is 264, while packing an astonishing 2048x1536 resolution. The screen is just perfect, the colors are great and you can't really see any of the pixels when really looking at the display.





2.) If you've used the iPad 2's camera, I'm sure you are aware how horrible they perform. That's not the case with the new iPad, Apple upgraded the horrible 0.3MP camera to 5MP, using the same five-element optics from the iPhone 4S on the new iPad. The iPad was only capable of taking 720p video, but now the new iPad can record up-to 1080p HD video. After taking a couple shots with the camera, the camera is actually usable, in a good way.

3.) The new iPad packs a dual core CPU and a quad core GPU. After playing around with the new iPad, I've noticed it just seems faster then the iPad 2 when switching in between apps and etc. When it comes to gaming performance, the new iPad did not disappoint. Games look and perform great on the new iPad. Titles like Infinity Blade II look pretty darn good and I didn't notice any lag while playing this game.





Not everything is perfect, and this applies to the new iPad. Now I will go over what I didn't like about the new iPad.

What I don't like about the new iPad

1.) When the new iPad was announced, people were disappointed that there was really no physical difference between it and the iPad 2. When I compared the two tablets side by side and asked people which one is the new iPad, only a couple people could tell me. Honestly, I think that when a product's successor comes out, there should be at least a little physical difference.

2.) With the upgraded camera on the new iPad, you'd think Apple would include a LED flash this time around, right? Well no, the iPad is still lacking a LED flash. While I was surprised with Apple's decision to not include a LED flash on the new iPad, it wasn't the only thing Apple did not include with the new iPad....

3.) If you've used the iPhone 4S, I'm sure you've used Siri. Siri is a personal voice assistant. You can have Siri send text messages for you, get you directions and more. With the upgraded GPU, I'm also shocked that Apple did not include Siri with the new iPad. Some people are disappointed with Apple's decision to not include Siri. Even though the new iPad is lacking Siri, Apple did include Voice dictation on the new iPad.

4.) When Apple announced the new iPad, they announced LTE versions for AT&T, Verizon and some Canadian carriers, While I was happy Apple decided to add LTE to the new iPad, I was disappointed that Sprint did not get any iPad loving. While we really don't know why Sprint did not get the new iPad, we can all pretty much assume that Apple didn't want to announce a LTE iPad on Sprint's premature 4G LTE network. Even though Sprint doesn't have the new iPad on their network now, doesn't mean Apple won't announce the new iPad on Sprint's network later this year.

That's my verdict on the new iPad. Feel free to sound off in the comments telling what you love and hate about the new iPad.

Photo Credit: Engadget, Mashable

JustAGeekHere

JustAGeekHere

 

The Sprint markets of Tampa & Jacksonville are slated to begin Network Vision/LTE deployments in Summer 2012

by Robert Herron Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Friday, March 23, 2012 - 4:00 AM MDT   Another double Sunshine State announcement! We are now prepared to tell you about two more Round Two markets in Sprint's Network Vision/LTE deployment plans for 2012...   Tampa and Jacksonville!   Sprint's Network Vision vendor Ericsson is scheduled to begin these markets in the early Second Round. Ericsson and their subcontractors are scheduled to begin mobilization into these markets in July with the first sites starting to come live in August. This is an exciting development because this is the first time we have been able to announce start dates for a newly announced second round market.   Sprint's Tampa market   Sprint's Tampa market covers the whole Tampa Bay and Pinellas Peninsula region. Including the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, New Port Richey, St. Pete Beach, Dunedin, Brandon, Plant City, Apollo Beach, Tarpon Springs, Spring Hill, Brooksville and Zephyrhills. It is bordered by the Jacksonville market to the north, the Orlando market to the east and the Southwest Florida market to the south. The Tampa market will have 302 sites in total after Network Vision is complete.   Sprint's Tampa Market. All 300+ Network Vision sites are shown for the Tampa market in this map. Click on image to enlarge.   Sprint's Jacksonville market   Sprint's Jacksonville market includes most of North Florida and the First Coast. It includes Jacksonville, Gainesville, Ocala, St. Augustine, Palatka, Orange Park, Ponte Vedra Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, Green Cove Springs, Starke, Inverness, Wildwood, Crystal River and Homosassa Springs. It is bordered by the Tampa and Orlando markets to the south and The Panhandle market to the west and the GA/SC Coast market to the north. A total of 356 Network Vision sites.   Sprint's Jacksonville Market. All of the approximately 350+ Network Vision sites are shown for the Jacksonville market in this map. Click on image to enlarge.   Although we know the scheduled start date...   It's exciting that we can tell you the start dates of the Tampa and Jacksonville markets. However, we cannot guarantee at this time that things will not change. Sprint has not officially announced these markets and for good reason.   Sprint has three different OEM vendors, with several different crews in many markets at once. There could be final permitting and design delays, some vendors and/or crews will work at different speeds, weather issues and any number of unforeseen circumstances to complicate matters even further.   The work hasn't started and they are keeping their options open. Sprint has said they may elect to slow down Network Vision in future quarters if cash flow becomes strained. And this could affect these markets.   All of these reasons explain why Sprint likely elected not to announce these markets themselves at this time. But we know you don't want to wait for Sprint to tell you! With these caveats understood, we are releasing the information about these markets as it exists to date.   Photo of Tampa skyline courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.   We won't stop digging for you!   Sprint 4G Rollout Updates will continue to scour through the data and gather deployment information for your use. It is our intent to provide at a minimum, all the Sprint markets that will likely begin Network Vision/LTE upgrades in 2012. And we intend to release the remaining unnamed markets in the next week. We will not likely announce communities slated for 2013, because the dates we hold for 2013 markets appear very tentative and subject to change. With many variables to sort out between now and 2013. Sprint could make significant shifts in deployment plans based on dynamic need change, funding, market permitting difficulties, etc.   With the release of Tampa and Jacksonville markets today, that brings the total of Network Vision markets announced to 37. We have have a thread in our forums where we are keeping track of all the markets announced by Sprint and S4GRU.com. Click on this link here to view the Network Vision Market Running List.   Stay tuned to Sprint 4G Rollout Updates. On Monday we will be releasing the next two Round Two markets for Sprint Network Vision and LTE deployment. We will be talking about it in a few hours in advance in a S4GRU Live Chat at 9:30 PM Mountain Time on Sunday evening. Come join us!   Photo of Downtown Jacksonville courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.   Information about the source: The information for all of our Network Vision information has been freely provided by several sources close to the Network Vision program who choose to remain anonymous. No source information will be released to protect anonymity.   Special thanks to S4GRU Member digiblur for creating the Tampa and Jacksonville market maps! Thank you!

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S4GRU

 

Is this Samsung's Highly Anticipated Galaxy S-III (GT-i9300)?

Danny Bullard Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 2:45 PM MDT   I'm sure you've seen some of the latest leaks of the Galaxy S-III. Some are obviously fake and already proven so, but might this leak be the real deal? The good folks over at PhoneArena received were tipped with a picture of a button-less Samsung device running Google's Ice Cream Sandwich. By looking at the picture, the screen looks big, 4.6" big like some of the latest GS-III rumors have suggested.   Another interesting thing is that the Samsung logo has moved underneath the screen. While this shouldn't really mean anything, this makes it different from the rest of the Galaxy S line. PhoneArena suggests this may be the Galaxy B. So only time will tell.   If this is the Galaxy S3, would you be first in line for one? Sound off in the comments.                                           Photo courtesy of PhoneArena.   Source: PhoneArena

JustAGeekHere

JustAGeekHere

 

Is 4G LTE Connectivity pointless when capped or throttled?

Danny Bullard Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Thursday, March 23, 2012 - 1:15 PM MDT   I'm sure you know Sprint offers unlimited data, but what about the other wireless carriers? Well that's a totally different story. Out of the Big 4 carriers in the United States, Sprint is the only carrier to offer "true unlimited data." Verizon killed off their unlimited data plan just last year, leaving their heavy data users in the dust. AT&T on the other hand killed off their unlimited data plan in June of 2010 also leaving their data users in the dust. The 4th largest carrier in the U.S., T-Mobile, also killed off their unlimited data plan in 2011.   Carriers claim that "90% to 99% of their customers use less then 2GB of data monthly." At the moment, these are the following monthly rates for data for the Tier 1 Wireless carriers. Verizon; 2GB for $30, 5GB for $50 and 8GB for $80. Big money for moderate to heavy users. It only gets better from there (sarcasm). AT&T; 300MB for $20, 3GB for $30 and 5GB for $50. T-Mobile; 2GB for $29.99, 5GB for $39.99 and 10GB for $69.99. Sprint; $79.99 for Unlimited. Unlimited. Sprint offers the best plans for most data users, obviously.   However, the big questions for millions of us, is, when is Sprint going to scrap unlimited? I mean, it has to be soon, right? Mobile World Live scored an interview with Sprint's own CEO Dan Hesse and asked them specifically about Sprint keeping unlimited data. This was Hesse's response, "We certainly hope so, my plans are to continue with it as long as we possibly can, hopefully forever. We’ll see, you never say always, you never say never, but I think for some time to come. What’s important to be able to maintain, is to really focus on what it takes to maintain it, the customers have spoken very clearly, I talked on the panel earlier today about our customer satisfaction rankings, how much they've increased because of the simplicity and customers really do like unlimited." Peace of mind is awesome isn't it?   So what happens when you go over your "data caps?" Your carrier will charge you a certain amount of money for each gig after you break your data cap. This causes many of their users to be fearful or apprehensive to use their data. These caps can be broken within a day if you're running on Verizon's or AT&T's 4G network if you're a heavy data user. Seem far fetched? Consider this...   There have been reports of LTE iPad owners going over their data caps within days when running on their carrier's 4G LTE network. There are ways to prevent this from happening (like staying on WiFi while at home). Sucks when you have to worry about going over your data cap. Even if you don't use much data, having unlimited data gives you the relief of not having to worry about going over a certain cap. Having to worry about going over your data cap is the case with most carriers, sadly.   So, is LTE connectivity useless when capped or throttled by your carrier? Yes, if you use more data then the provided data plans. Also, do you see unlimited data as a privilege or a given? Sound off in the comments below.     Source: MobileWorldLive

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JustAGeekHere

 

(UPDATED) PRL builders and network spelunkers pay heed; Sprint CDMA1X 800 channels and SIDs revealed

by Andrew J. Shepherd Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 10:50 AM MDT   Update 2: See below for potentially all SMR 800 MHz SIDs.   Two weeks ago, S4GRU reported that the FCC had just issued a proposed rulemaking that would officially allow Sprint to launch non iDEN, wideband operations (CDMA1X and/or LTE) in its rebanded SMR 800 MHz spectrum. In that article, we referenced Sprint Network Vision internal documents that S4GRU used to determine where in the SMR 800 MHz band Sprint planned to deploy CDMA1X 800 carrier channel(s):     Today, in an S4GRU exclusive, we bring you an intriguing follow up to that article.   S4GRU has acquired internal Sprint Network Vision 3G plans for additional markets and confirmed that Sprint will necessarily deploy CDMA1X 800 on a higher carrier channel in those markets in which it shares the ESMR portion of the SMR 800 MHz band with SouthernLINC. Furthermore, Sprint will not reuse its existing PCS 1900 MHz network SIDs but instead will utilize a unique set of new SIDs for its SMR 800 MHz overlay. Both of these developments have important ramifications for band class 10 Sprint network acquisition and custom PRL editing.   In most markets across the country, Sprint is not encumbered by any other ESMR licensees. In those markets, Sprint will deploy a CDMA1X Advanced carrier centered at channel 476. See the band plan graphic (modified for Sprint ESMR single licensee markets):     However, in several markets in the Southeast, Sprint splits ESMR bandwidth with SouthernLINC. In those markets, SouthernLINC's spectrum holdings extend as high as 818 MHz x 863 MHz. As a result, Sprint has shifted its CDMA1X 800 carrier up 50 channels to be centered at channel 526 in order to stay out of the SouthernLINC allotment and provide adequate guard bands. See the band plan graphic (modified for Sprint/SouthernLINC ESMR dual licensee markets):     For CDMA1X 800 network acquisition, therefore, Sprint band class 10 capable PRLs will have to include ACQ indices containing at least channels 476 and 526.   Moreover, as S4GRU has unearthed, band class 10 PRLs will also have to include separate SID entries for SMR 800 MHz. For example, in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, Sprint has long used SID 04120, but CDMA1X 800 will fall under new SID 22407. In the Atlanta market, Sprint operates under SID 04274, while CDMA1X 800 will take on SID 22437. NIDs, though, appear to be consistent between PCS 1900 MHz and SMR 800 MHz. Expect Sprint to establish a second SID for each one of its markets, hence just under 50 new SMR 800 MHz SIDs in total.   We surmise that Sprint will use the distinct new SIDs to control access and network loading on the lone CDMA1X 800 carrier channel in each market. By Sprint placing SMR 800 MHz SIDs at lower priority in PRLs, the vast majority of Sprint devices will remain on CDMA1X 1900 in almost all native coverage settings. Devices will seek out CDMA1X 800 only when CDMA1X 1900 is unusable or unavailable. Savvy PRL builders, however, could certainly take advantage of this situation by editing PRLs to invert priority and favor CDMA1X 800 instead, thereby directing devices to remain on SMR 800 MHz wherever possible.   S4GRU will continue to dig up CDMA1X 800 SIDs for additional markets. As we do, we will post updates. So, stay tuned.   Update: We have learned new SMR 800 MHz SIDs for several West Coast markets: San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Portland, and potentially Seattle or Spokane, too. In the Bay Area, Sprint's CDMA1X 1900 network uses SID 04183, while the upcoming CDMA1X 800 overlay will use SID 22431. Similarly, in Portland, Sprint will continue to utilize SID 04174 for PCS 1900 MHz and will add SID 22428 for SMR 800 MHz. Sprint in Seattle and Spokane uses SID 04186 and SID 04188, respectively. S4GRU has discovered SMR 800 MHz SID 22408 linked to rural parts of the Seattle and Spokane MTAs, but we are currently uncertain if this SID will apply to one or both actual metro areas.   Update 2: Special thanks go to S4GRU reader and sponsor autoprime for reminding us of the IFAST national SID list web page, which just so happens to contain all of the SMR 800 MHz SIDs that we have announced, as well as ostensibly all of the other SMR 800 MHz SIDs for Sprint's remaining MTA based markets. The 224xx series SIDs were actually assigned to Sprint for its PCS G block nationwide collection of licenses, spectrum that was assigned to Nextel as compensation for SMR 800 MHz bandwidth it lost during the 800 MHz public safety rebanding effort. Sprint originally intended to deploy band class 14 CDMA1X/EV-DO in that PCS G block 10 MHz spectrum but now will use it exclusively for band class 25 LTE (5 MHz x 5 MHz), the initial LTE carrier that Sprint will launch in its Network Vision initiative. Since band class 14 CDMA1X/EV-DO is now off the table, Sprint appears to have carried over the 224xx series SIDs to its SMR 800 MHz band class 10 CDMA1X deployment. Keep in mind, however, that these remaining SIDs have yet to be verified, so there may be some differences between the list and actual use. S4GRU will endeavor to confirm additional SIDs as we analyze further information from our internal Sprint sources. In the meantime, we have condensed all assigned 224xx SIDs to this Google Docs spreadsheet.   Sources: Sprint, SouthernLINC, FCC, 3GPP, author's graphics, autoprime, IFAST

WiWavelength

WiWavelength

 

Turn that 3G iPhone 4/4S into a 4G WiMax iPhone by just installing this case!

Danny Bullard Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 11:39 AM MDT   FreedomPop is a company that aims to provide free broadband, founded by Niklas Zennstrom (Skype Founder). FreedomPop plans on releasing a case for the iPhone 4/4S with an integrated 4G WiMax radio according to a "high level source inside FreedomPop." Not only will it allow your iPhone device to use a 4G signal, but this case will be able to share a WiMax connection with up to eight devices, for 30 hours. At the moment, FreedomPop hasn't committed to a release date.   Each iPhone case user will have a 1 GB of free data starting off. If you go over the 1 gig cap, it'll cost you $10 per gigabyte or 10 cents per MB. According to TechCrunch's sources, you'll have to put down a $100 deposit for this case. The deposit is refundable if the case is in "good" condition.   This case will allow your 3G iPhone 4/4S run on Clearwire's 4G WiMax network. Pretty neat huh? All you have to do is slide your iPhone into the case and BAM you have 4G if you're in a Clear 4G market. We know this case will not beat Verizon's 4G LTE speeds or AT&T's LTE speeds, but it will be a good alternative to 3G (especially on Sprint and Verizon) and users who don't have 4G devices (iPhone users). The Clear 4G footprint covers 130 million POPs. FreedomPop struck their wholesale agreement with Clearwire in February.   This concept isn't entirely new. We saw something very similar to this debut on Sprint in November of 2010. It was a ZTE manufactured peel that gave users access to Sprint's 3G EVDO network. ZTE's peel got decent reviews from buyers. A lot of people liked that the peel brought decent data speeds without a contract. It was a wonderful idea, hopefully FreedomPop can improve on what ZTE started on Sprint's network.   So, is this innovation at it's finest? I'd say not really, but if FreedomPop markets this case enough, it could be a huge hit.       Source: TechCrunch.com, FierceWireless

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S4GRU

 

Norfolk & Long Island are scheduled to be in the Second Round of Sprint Network Vision/LTE Deployment in 2012

by Robert Herron Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 12:00 AM MDT   Two Non WiMax markets to tell you about! We are now prepared to tell you about two more Round Two markets in Sprint's Network Vision/LTE deployment plans for 2012...   Norfolk/Hampton Roads and Long Island!   Sprint's Network Vision vendor Samsung will likely begin Network Vision and LTE deployment in these two Sprint markets in 2012. This is not an imminent start in the next few weeks. These are Second Round starts. Which means that the start of these markets is dependent on when the previous market before it wraps up. There is no way to determine at this point which markets will precede them. Even Sprint does not know definitively at this point.   Sprint's Norfolk market   Sprint's Norfolk market makes covers the whole Tidewater/Hampton Roads region and extending up the Virginia portion of the Delmarva Peninsula and into the Northeast corner of North Carolina. Including the cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Williamsburg and Elizabeth City/Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. It is bordered by the Richmond market to the northwest, to the Raleigh/Durham market to the southwest and the Baltimore market to the north of the Delmarva Peninsula portion. The Norfolk market will have 278 sites in total after Network Vision is complete.   Sprint's Norfolk Market. All 275+ Network Vision sites are shown for the Norfolk market in this map. Click on image to enlarge.   Sprint's Long Island market   Sprint's Long Island market is everything on the island east of the New York Boroughs in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. It includes Islip, Brookhaven, Stony Brook, Levittown, Hempstead, Riverhead, Happaugue, Garden City, Brentwood, Hicksville, Massapequa, Long Beach, the Hamptons and Montauk. It is bordered by the New York City market to the west. A total of 258 Network Vision sites.     Sprint's Long Island Market. All of the approximately 250+ Network Vision sites are shown for the Long Island market in this map. Click on image to enlarge.   We would love to give you the date, but...   There is absolutely no way for S4GRU to be able to provide a start date for these markets, or any of the Second Round 2012 markets that will be announced after these. We are announcing these markets to you for your information, to give Sprint customers a rough idea of when these second round markets can be anticipated.   There is absolutely no guarantee of the order in which these markets come live, because there is a lot of variability in the plan. The most significant variable being how quickly the preceding market before it wraps up. If things go quickly in the preceding market, work may start early. Things go late, these would likely start late. And to complicate start dates in each market, Sprint has said they may elect to slow down Network Vision in future quarters if cash flow becomes strained.   Sprint has three different OEM vendors, with several different crews in many markets at once. There could be final permitting and design delays, some vendors and/or crews will work at different speeds, weather issues and any number of unforeseen circumstances to complicate matters even further. First round market starts are much easier to predict, but second round and third round markets starts are increasingly difficult to predict and put dates to. This is likely the reason why Sprint has elected not to announce these markets themselves at this time. But we know you don't want to wait for Sprint to tell you! With these caveats understood, we are releasing the Network Vision second round markets in the order that they are anticipating to start deployment, based on the schedules as they exist to date.     Photo of Norfolk skyline courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.   We won't stop digging for you!   Sprint 4G Rollout Updates will continue to scour through the data and gather deployment information for your use. It is our intent to provide at a minimum, all the Sprint markets that will likely begin Network Vision/LTE upgrades in 2012. And we intend to do so in a series of articles over the next few weeks. We will not likely announce communities slated for 2013, because the dates we hold for 2013 markets appear very tentative and subject to change. With the many variables to sort out between now and 2013. Sprint could make significant shifts in deployment plans based on dynamic need change, funding, market permitting difficulties, etc.   With the release of Norfolk and Long Island markets today, that brings the total of Network Vision markets announced to 35. We have have a thread in our forums where we are keeping track of all the markets announced by Sprint and S4GRU.com. Click on this link here to view the Network Vision Market Running List.   Stay tuned to Sprint 4G Rollout Updates. On Friday we will be releasing the next two Round Two markets for Sprint Network Vision and LTE deployment. We will be talking about it in a few hours in advance in a S4GRU Live Chat at 9:30 PM Mountain Time on Thursday evening. Come join us!     Photo of Pano Robert Moses Bridge/Long Island courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.   Information about the source: The information for all of our Network Vision information has been freely provided by several sources close to the Network Vision program who choose to remain anonymous. No source information will be released to protect anonymity.   Special thanks to S4GRU Member digiblur for creating the Norfolk and Long Island market maps! Thank you!

S4GRU

S4GRU

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