Sprint reveals initial 4G LTE markets; rollout begins in coming months

Sprint on Thursday announced the first markets that will be upgraded with 4G LTE service this year. The company’s LTE network will launch in the first half of this year in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, CEO Dan Hesse revealed during a talk at the Citigroup Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference. Hesse also said that Sprint would be upgrading its 3G coverage in those markets at the same time. Sprint was the first carrier in the United States to deploy a 4G network, but it opted to use WiMAX technology rather than LTE. In the fall of 2011, however, Sprint announced that the company would convert to a single-network architecture, moving away from CDMA and WiMAX as it rolls out its LTE network. Rather than abandoning the company’s old technology, Sprint inked a deal with Clearwire to continue supporting WiMAX through 2015. Sprint’s full press release follows below.

Sprint Announces First Major Markets to Receive 4G LTE in 2012

Customers in Dallas, Atlanta, Houston and San Antonio are expected to enjoy ultra-fast service and an improved 3G wireless experience before middle of year

SAN FRANCISCO (BUSINESS WIRE), January 05, 2012 – Sprint (NYSE: S) CEO Dan Hesse announced today at the annual Citigroup Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference that customers in Dallas, Atlanta, Houston and San Antonio are expected to be among the first to benefit from 4G LTE and improved 3G coverage in the first half of 2012.

The launch of these metropolitan areas marks the next step in the company’s overall network strategy, also known as Network Vision. Sprint customers can expect to enjoy ultra-fast data speeds, improved 3G voice and data quality, and stronger in-building signal penetration providing a more reliable wireless experience. Whether a Sprint customer is on a smartphone streaming video, browsing the Web with a mobile hotspot, or making a voice call to someone across the country, everyone1 in the upgraded areas is expected to benefit from the advanced 3G/4G LTE network.

“Within the first half of 2012, Sprint customers should experience first-hand the wide-reaching improvements we have made in terms of boosting voice and data quality,” said Bob Azzi, senior vice president – Network, Sprint. “With advanced smartphones and sophisticated wireless modems, our customers are using more and more mobile data, and one of our top priorities is to provide the best technology possible to improve our customers’ experience.”

Sprint’s Network Vision platform involves the deployment of multimode base stations across many of Sprint’s cell sites throughout the country. As base stations are deployed, customers will notice immediate improvements in voice quality, signal density and data speeds. The first completed deployment of a multimode base station was in Branchburg, N.J., in December 2011. As additional areas receive 3G enhancements and 4G LTE service, announcements will be made.

Another component of Sprint’s network strategy has been the deployment of Sprint® Direct Connect® on the CDMA network. Sprint’s legacy in push-to-talk leadership continues with new CDMA devices that launched in September, 2011. More CDMA push-to-talk devices will be announced in the coming months.

Sprint has been an innovator with 4G since first launching the technology in 2008. Sprint has launched more than 25 4G-enabled smartphones, USB connection cards, notebook/netbook products, mobile hotspots and routers. Sprint offers a proven, reliable 4G experience for millions of customers compared to other national wireless carriers. Additionally, Sprint is a leader in value, with Sprint Everything plans with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM, including unlimited data, texting and calling to and from any mobile phone in America while on the Sprint network. With Sprint’s unlimited data plans, customers don’t have to worry about throttling or data overage charges on their monthly bill as they might with tiered data plans from other carriers.

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