by Jeff Foster
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 4:30 PM MST
Hearken back to April 2010 when Sprint announced the HTC EVO 4G and thus, became the first carrier to introduce a 4G device. Oh, the excitement! It was 4G WiMax, but who cared? Not many thought LTE would be such an overwhelmingly dominant 4G technology so quickly in the future. Of course, we later learned that WiMax didn’t pan out in America in the way Sprint had hoped.
LTE has now become the global standard in fourth-generation wireless. Verizon and AT&T are using LTE for their 4G networks and most other U.S. carriers have planned or are even starting to implement their own LTE network. Sprint has now begun the progression of transferring from WiMax over to LTE for its 4G technology.
At the CES exposition, Sprint announced three new LTE devices, two of them being smartphones. The LG Viper, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and a dual 4G WiMax/LTE hotspot. It looks to be several more months before any of them are released. Earliest rumors calling for Mid-April. However, Sprint's last final word was Mid 2012. Sprint has said the first LTE markets won’t go live until approximately June of this year. The initial launch markets officially announced by Sprint are Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Kansas City and Baltimore, with additional markets coming online later in the year. (S4GRU has announced many of these other markets *wink*)
So what happens to existing stocks of WiMax smartphones? Promotional Sales, of course! Sprint has committed to keeping the WiMax network running up until 2015. That is several more years of WiMax network availability. A network that Sprint estimates will get significantly less burdened between now and 2015 (see graphic at bottom of page). More free space for you to stretch out those data consuming legs.
WiMax Subscription Forecast. WiMax subscriber numbers are expected to drop by 10% this year and then really start dropping fast.
The closer we get to the middle of 2012, the more aggressive the pricing will likely get and the better the deals that will probably come available. Especially from the third party retailers. After all, who wants to be stuck with worthless paper weights when the goodness of LTE is right around the corner?
If you’re in the market for a phone now, depending on your needs, you may want to wait for a LTE device. However if your phone is acting froggy, you dropped it last night, or its just on its last legs and you need a replacement, then maybe a new WiMax device is a good choice for you.
Best Buy recently had several WiMax devices on sale with a new contract for as low as $49.99. Including the Evo 3D. These deals are likely to keep repeating themselves all over the internet into the forseeable future until all WiMax devices supplies are wiped out.
If you live in a solid WiMax market, and you're in need of a new device, it may make sense to pull the trigger and pick one up. Or if you have solid 3G coverage, and don't even care about 4G service. You will be able to score some really solid devices for great prices. And if you find a great deal, post it in the S4GRU.com forums!
WhyMaxxx photo courtesy of Gizmodo.com