By Stephen Schenck | March 29, 2012 1:46 PM
We’re hoping to get news in just a week or two about the start of Sprint’s LTE network in the US. So far, we’ve been focusing a lot on what phones we expect to see arrive to support the network; most recently, those rumors have been looking to the HTC EVO One. While the available hardware is going to be very important for how Sprint’s launch of LTE is perceived, the actual reach of the network itself is no less critical. A newly-leaked image purports to show us where Sprint is hoping to deploy its network, and some comments from a company executive give us a little insight into what may be in the future for WiMAX.
Sprint’s initial LTE coverage should be in Kansas City and Baltimore. We’re used to seeing very limited coverage when new networks like this first launch, so the big question is how the network is going to grow from there. The image above purports to show Sprint’s plans for LTE coverage a little over thirty months out. By the end of 2014, the carrier seems like it could have some solid east coast coverage, but things in the south and out west still look pretty spotty. When you factor in roaming, though (light blue areas), things start to look a whole lot better.
We’ve heard before from Sprint execs that the company was never going to release another WiMAX device again. While that still hasn’t been exactly confirmed, now we’ve got another Sprint exec saying the very same thing. Honestly, the news is hardly surprising, given the enthusiasm the carrier is showing towards finally getting LTE off the ground. The WiMAX network will continue to operate for the time being; it just looks like we won’t be seeing any new gear supporting it.