This past winter, Sprint talked about its future plans for 4G, saying that it was looking into LTE. Though it denied having made any final decisions at the time, the company expected to have its mind made up by mid-2011. Just slightly ahead of schedule, LightSquared has announced a multi-billion dollar deal with Sprint, giving Sprint customers access to LightSquared’s LTE network.
Under the terms of the arrangement, the two companies will partner when it comes to building and maintaining LightSquared’s LTE system, which will then sell access to the network back to Sprint. This would allow Sprint to provide its users with LTE services for the next fifteen years.
LightSquared has been making the news lately with concerns that have arisen over its plans to use frequencies bordering those currently employed by GPS systems. So far, some of the testing has suggested that communications on this fringe will in fact disrupt GPS reception. The company is currently working on reducing any interference and is reporting back to the FCC.
LightSquared didn’t provide an estimate of when it might have LTE up-and-running with Sprint, but an earlier statement from Sprint said that it might have nationwide LTE by the end of 2013. We’re still waiting to hear what this all means for WiMAX.