Sprint has announced that it is finally prepared to flip the switch on its 4G LTE network, starting with five cities-Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Kansas City, and San Antonio on July 15th, 2012.
4G LTE boasts faster data speeds for downloads and streaming, while an improved 3G network should mean better signal strength, fewer dropped calls, and faster data speeds as well. Sprint expects its new network to cover 250 million people in the US by the end of 2013, Moreover Sprint is currently only offering one LTE handset, but it says that it plans to have 15-plus by the end of the year.
“While other carriers are simply rolling out their version of a 4G LTE network, we are rolling out an all-new network that will also significantly improve the 3G and voice experience over time – at no extra charge to the customer”, said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO.
According to Bob Azzi, Sprint network vice president, the 4G LTE network isn’t going to be as fast as AT&T and Verizon networks. Specifically, the Sprint network is operating on 5-MHz channels compared to Verizon’s 10-MHz channels. Early tests indicated that the Sprint 4G LTE network in Atlanta will offer download speeds of 9 to 13Mbps and upload speeds at approximately 2Mbps. This is significantly better than Sprint WiMax or T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network, but doesn’t compete extremely well against Verizon or AT&T.