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As we're nearing the HTC EVO 4G retail launch date, Sprint appears to be considering a switch from WiMAX to LTE. According to a report by Light Reading Mobile, the nation's third largest wireless carrier has submitted a "next generation network" request for proposal (RFP), and LTE is a potential technology option.
Kevin Packingham, senior VP of product and technology development at Sprint, spoke candidly about LTE at a recent event. "There's nothing that prevents us from...moving to LTE. We're doing a technology evaluation and making a decision on our core network and how we want to evolve that going forward." Though a general timeframe for an LTE transition wasn't discussed, Packingham did say that such a decision would be influenced by customer reaction to the EVO 4G.
The potential for an LTE shift comes as Sprint gives considering to upgrading its existing 3G network to EVDO Rev. B for faster data speeds. I have to say, these types of statements concern me, given that Sprint has already spent an extensive amount of money expanding and promoting its WiMAX network with partner Clear. A shift to LTE could frustrate early adopters, though I'm sure that any network transition would happen over the course of years. But I have to say - Sprint, you have a good thing going here. Your WiMAX-equipped EVO 4G is drawing more press and publicity than anything else from Sprint in recent years. You have a chance to get ahead in the game with this. Please be careful.
Via Light Reading Mobile