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Sprint Re-Affirms Plans For 4G/LTE

Tuesday morning at a breakfast event at 4G World in Chicago, Sprint’s Vice President of Network Development and Engineering, Iyad Tarazi, said that Sprint would be rolling out LTE Advanced release 10 in a 10×10 configuration by the first part of 2013.  LTE Advanced in that configuration can yield theoretic speeds of 100mbps down.  Yes that’s amazingly fast.

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According Tarazi Sprint plans to start offering 4G/LTE on the 1900mhz spectrum by mid 2012 and hopes to have 277 million pops covered by the end of 2013.  When they get to 277 million pops that will be larger than their current 3G/CDMA footprint.

Sprint has plans to launch 12 4G/LTE devices and like Verizon, Sprint will offer voice over their CDMA network and data over 4G/LTE.  In Q1 2013 they hope to offer devices that feature voice over LTE.

Tarazi said that 20% of Sprint’s network traffic is currently residing on Clearwire. He said they will continue to support that relationship for the benefit of their customers using Sprint’s current 4G, which is WiMax and offered through their partnership with Clearwire.

Tarazi didn’t outline how they were building out the LTE Advanced 10×10 network. Earlier this year they announced a partnership with Lightsquared. At roughly the same time Clearwire said they would need 600 million dollars to rollout LTE Advanced. While Lightsquared has been fighting with the government over GPS interference, Clearwire has tested the LTE Advanced in field tests and reported that they did get the theoretical 100mbps download speed.

All of this comes on the heels of Sprints Q3 earnings call which happens later today.  Sprint is expected to announce a loss of 22 cents per share on revenue of $8.4 billion. Sprint may come under fire for their lofty 4G/LTE plans as well as rumors that they’ve entered into a deal with Apple to purchase $20 billion dollars worth of iPhones over the next few years.

source: Fierce Wireless and ABC News

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