Sprint expects its first LTE devices to arrive in the second half of 2012Alex Wagner - Senior News Editor
In the past year, both AT&T and Verizon have flipped the switches on their respective 4G LTE networks and have begun offering several devices capable of access them. Sprint announced back in October that it, too, would be joining in on the LTE fun, and today the carrier offered a new timeframe concerning when we can expect its first LTE-capable devices to drop. Speaking at a UBS investor conference, Sprint CFO Joseph Euteneuer revealed that the first 4G LTE-enabled products are now expected to hit the Now Network in the second half of 2012, which is a tad different (but just as vague) as Sprint's previously-announced mid-2012 release window. Speaking about the network itself, Euteneuer said that Sprint expects its LTE coverage to offer speeds that are "very competitive to what's out in the marketplace." At its Strategy Update event back in October, Sprint said that it plans to begin rolling its LTE network out in the middle of next year, with coverage expected to reach 120 million people by the end of 2012.
It wasn't all "4G" this and "LTE" that during Euteneuer's talk, though, as the exec also took the time to touch on Sprint's iPhone sales. Although he didn't give up exact numbers, Euteneuer said that sales of Apple's handsets have been better than anticipated. "Clearly, it's been doing very well for us," he explained. "The pleasant surprise has been the uptick on new customers."
Although it's kind of disappointing that we're still so far out from actually getting to toy with Sprint's upcoming LTE network, we're glad to get an update on the progress of Sprint's move to a new flavor of 4G. Sprint hasn't specified which kinds of products will be a part of the initial batch of LTE-capable devices, but it has said that it expects to launch a total of 15 LTE devices in 2012, which includes a mix of phones, tablets, and data cards that'll span the low-end up to the high-end. We've already seen both AT&T and Verizon release some pretty nice LTE devices — and we're sure to see more before Sprint's LTE network goes live — so here's to hoping that the Now Network has got some killer stuff up its sleeve for the second half of next year.