Sprint considers LTE adoption, final decision in 4 to 6 months

By on February 16, 2011, 9:00 AM
During a roundtable discussion at Mobile World Congress, Sprint's senior vice president of networks, Bob Azzi, said that the carrier will watch how many of its customers migrate from EV-DO to mobile WiMAX over the next 4 to 6 months and then evaluate the best way to use its existing spectrum before it decides whether or not to deploy LTE.

We've known for some time that Sprint and Clearwire had plans to try out a form of LTE and examine a variety of potential future technology combinations. According to GigaOm, switching from mobile WiMAX to LTE involves a card swap as opposed to reconfiguring all the gear at the base stations or its tower network. Although that may be an over simplified way of looking at the transition, the reality is that WiMAX is not getting much support from carriers and equipment makers across the globe, making it very unlikely to become a network standard capable of rivaling LTE.

Chief Executive Dan Hesse said that the company would disclose its plans regarding LTE versus its WiMAX commitment about midyear, not in terms of implementation but in terms of disclosing what their plans are with respect to 4G. Meanwhile, AT&T and Verizon are moving full ahead with LTE, locking in partners to take advantage of faster data speeds. The latter has already launched their next generation network and plans on doing voice over LTE in 2012.

User Comments: 4

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9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm curious what will happen to existing 4G WiMax devices and those customers using them. Will there be some sort of trade-up program? I guess they will have to sort out the details in the near future.

Guest said:

The same thing that happened to people who bought a Betamax instead of a VHS player.

MrAnderson said:

I wish they would tell us what is the issue with WiMax... or is it that since they are practically the only provider of WiMax that the chips for it are costing more to put in the phones where perhaps the adoption of LTE is increasing and will lower manufacturing costs???

Guest said:

I was studying all this stuff last year and the first thing my professor told us was that the best thing (and only) WiMax has is Intel behind it. Apart from that, LTE is better in every single aspect (adaptability, range, power consumption...)

What is goning to happen to those with a WiMax device? Well, time will say

Anyway, We'll have to wait and see where this fight ends. I only hope I'm in the right side when it finishes

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