by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Monday, October 22, 2012 - 11:00 AM MDT
Today, Sprint announced in four separate Press Releases that they have brought 4G LTE Service to the Chicagoland area, as well as Wichita Falls Texas, Hutchinson and McPherson Kansas, New Bedford and Fall River, Massachusetts. It is probably no accident that Sprint selected to use the phrase "Sprint brings 4G LTE" in lieu of "launched." Don't misunderstand though that this is good news.
LTE service in these newly announced areas has actually been active for awhile (in some places several months). Sprint only announced the outer suburbs of Chicago as being live, but actually Sprint LTE service is live over 80% of the metro area. However, the more urban sites in Chicago need to have service bolstered up even greater before Sprint sticks their neck out and claim the service is live. Even in non launched areas of the Chicago market, LTE service is still usable where sites have been completed.
Chicago Sprint LTE Coverage Map. This is the LTE coverage map showing in Chicago as of today. Coverages shown are a little generous with their modeling. This map would indicate coverage is nearly total, but we think it's more like 80%, using a very liberal estimate.
In both Hutchinson and McPherson, Kansas, each of those cities now has two LTE sites operable. For McPherson, that covers most of the area, only leaving one more site to upgrade. In Hutchinson, they have two of five sites broadcasting LTE, which covers most of the city pretty well. Service will get even better when full LTE density is achieved.
Over in Wichita Falls, Texas, Sprint LTE is usable from three sites out of sixteen. So site density is very thin at this point. Sprint overly optimistically shows very good coverage on their maps saturating the entire Wichita Falls area. Service should be decent when near these three sites, otherwise you will likely only be able to get coverage outside. LTE performance will drastically improve as more and more coverage is added in the next few months.
In Southeast Massachusetts, Sprint LTE is also live around Fall River and New Bedford. The first New Bedford LTE site went online about five weeks ago, and the service has been growing since. Currently both New Bedford and Fall River have three LTE sites a piece working. Which is about one third of the total sites in the area. So coverage is OK now, but will get even better over the next few months.
On another note, our members discovered the new coverages show up Friday night on the Sprint website and figured out Sprint would be making these announcements on Monday. Clever group we have here at S4GRU.
NOTE: In our Sponsor Section, we have interactive maps that show all the completed sites to date, including the sites in the markets referenced in this article. Information about sponsorship can be found here: S4GRU Sponsorship