Mar 29 AT 11:52 AM Taylor Wimberly 48 Comments

Sprint is done with WiMAX devices, shows us their LTE map for 2014


Sprint is gearing up to release their first 4G LTE device as soon as next month, so it’s no surprise to find out today that the carrier is done releasing new 4G WiMAX devices. Sue Marek of Fierce Wireless reports that Bob Azzi, SVP of networks at Sprint, said “While the company experienced success with its WiMAX handsets, including the HTC Evo, Sprint will not launch any additional WiMAX devices.”

The upgrade to 4G LTE is part of Sprint’s multi-billion overall network strategy, also known as Network Vision. Sprint plans to finish building it’s LTE network by the end of 2013, but we think the buildout could even be extended til 2014.

“Within the first half of 2012, Sprint customers should experience first-hand the wide-reaching improvements we have made in terms of boosting voice and data quality,” said Bob Azzi, Sprint. “With advanced smartphones and sophisticated wireless modems, our customers are using more and more mobile data, and one of our top priorities is to provide the best technology possible to improve our customers’ experience.”

We don’t have an exact launch date, but Sprint already announced the first major markets to receive LTE coverage. Sometime during the first half of 2012, Sprint customers will see 4G LTE and improved 3G coverage in:

  • Dallas
  • Atlanta
  • Houston
  • San Antonio

Coverage will then expand to 10 markets by the end of June, but specific cities have not been named.

Today tech reporter Sascha Segan tweeted a picture of Sprint’s LTE coverage map for 2014. Areas in green represent LTE coverage while areas in blue will be covered by roaming agreements with other carriers.

Looking forward, the upcoming 4G LTE devices coming to Sprint that we know about include:

At this point most Sprint customers are kind of stuck in the middle. The best Android phones on Sprint are all WiMAX, but that will slowly be phased out this year. New subscribers will be encouraged to get a phone with LTE, but Sprint’s coverage will be sparse until next year.

If you are in the market for a new Sprint phone, let us know what you plan to do.


Via: @saschasegan

Source: FierceWireless

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • taz88ny

    My Evo lasted me two years, so my next phone (with LTE) should last until the rollout is complete. I also work in NYC and live in NJ, so I expect LTE soon rather than later.

    • Jimmy Johansen

      I’m in the same boat…. well a similar boat paddling nearby. I live and work in NYC and have an EVO which I love. I’m hoping to get the EVO LTE AKA the HTC One X AKA the HTC EVO One. But I’m going to hold onto old faithful until the price comes down and the roll out LTE in NYC (and perhaps when I know it can be rooted) ;-)

  • Fulaman

    Why aren’t the SF Bay area or the Los Angeles Area on that list? Do they not forget that the Bay Area is the tech capital of the world (SILICON VALLEY)…..I mean Google, Apple, Facebook, Ebay, all these tech giant conglomerates are based here.

    • Jeff

      You mean, of immediate rollouts? Texas is heavily favored compared to NYC or SF because it Dallas, Houston and Austin are tech hubs, but not as concentrated. I think it’s far more representative of the rest of the nation. NYC and SF are special cases, you need to bring your A game everywhere in those places.

    • kazahani

      They need to iron out all the bugs before they tackle a major market like NYC or LA.

  • spazby

    not eligible for new phone until august, I am good waiting it out… this is a bad situation for people who can upgrade now and are in the area without lte coverage. i guess they may just leave sprint at this point – I would.

    • Poosh2010

      I’ve been able to upgrade since december, but I’ve been holding out for an LTE phone since I live in Omaha where there’s no WIMAX. Try holding out for 5 extra months on a htc hero haha

      • Wilson

        I feel ya on the Hero, I want the Galaxy Nexus but not if the One X is coming out a month later. I don’t want to jump the gun on this one like I did with the Hero…

      • Speed

        Poosh, btw, Omaha has had WiMax for probably a year or more. Unfortunately, it is only in a certain select few pockets. But, I work near the Old Mill area (arguably a major intersection with a lot of businesses) and I get 4G here. Unfortunately, I don’t get it at home. :(

  • cesjr02

    I’ve lived without the promised WiMAX for the past 2 years with my Evo. Hopefully won’t have to wait that long for LTE to hit my area.

    My next phone will definitely be an LTE phone.

    • Jason

      While paying an extra $10 per month for the privilege…

      The closest 4G wimax is hours away and I have to pay Sprint an extra $10 per month because my phone is 4G capable. What’s the money for? Building out the 4G network? But they’re not building out the WiMAX any more so it seems unjustifiable. If Sprint had not sold their soul to get the iPhone, I might feel less bitter about it.

      I’ll probably be awaiting the Samsung Galaxy SIII before my upgrade.

      • kazahani

        That fee now applies to all smartphones, not just WiMAX devces. Even an old junky BlackBerry will cost you an extra ten bucks.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Folks are still bitching about that. Just pay the money or go to another carrier and get price gouged.

      • squiddy20

        If you would take just 10 or so seconds to look at your bill, you’d see a $10 charge for “premium data”, not “4G data”. They at first introduced it as a 4G only fee, but then expanded it to all smartphones, even if they were 3G only.
        And yes, the fee is for building out the 4G network, first for Wimax, and now for LTE. The money’s gotta come from somewhere.
        Don’t like the charge? Cancel your contract and go somewhere else. I can pretty much guarantee you you’ll be charged more at any of the other big 3 carriers (with maybe an exception of T-Mobile).

  • Steve

    I currently have an Epic 4G Touch, live in Atlanta, and my contract is up. I had the chance to use a Verizon Galaxy Nexus for a few days, and I really enjoyed the vanilla ICS experience. I’ll be picking up the Galaxy Nexus when it comes to Sprint.

  • Triplanetary

    I’m in Atlanta so I’ll be in the first wave of LTE rollout. I was originally wanting to get a Galaxy Nexus, but after all the BS with the updates (I have a Nexus S 4G right now, so I’ve personally experienced the BS), I’ve decided I’ll wait for the HTC One X (or EVO One or whatever you want to call it).

  • yankeesusa

    I plan on sticking with sprint till the end of year and see how their lte rollout is going. In the meantime I will be getting the evo lte when it comes out. I’m sure sprint will do good with this rollout.

  • Sharper

    I’ve had the HTC Evo 4g and now have the HTC Evo 3D….now it’s the waiting game. I’m waiting on (hopefully) Sprint’s version of the Samsung Galaxy Note (or whatever it will be called)…with LTE….P.L.E.A.S.E. At the moment I’m not interested in any other phone.

  • snowbdr89

    I was hoping it said sprint is done with cellular service

  • cwjones4

    area i’m moving to in June doesn’t currently have wimax but is on the map for LTE, so i’[m going to take my time and compare the GS3 to the HTC EVO One before making up my mind. Just glad to see that area (wichita) is on the map, and i would be ecstatic if it gets LTE sooner rather than later

  • Fury

    Currently using the Evo 4G and it’s been a great phone. In my ninth year with Sprint but growing tired of the data service and network changes. I care about consistency not overall speed. Will most likely switch carriers which will unfortunately increase my monthly bill for my family plan. I also have to move to the iPhone as it is now the company mandated phone. So I’ll wait for the next version which will hopefully have next generation network capability.

    • Fury

      They will only reimburse for the iPhone so it kind of forces your hand…

      • Fury

        For both initial phone purchase and partial plan payment moving forward.

  • Jbarajasp

    That LTE coverage map ia absolutely incredible!

    • frenchfry

      Except were the state of Mississippi has taken over all of the west part of the state of Tennessee. That map has a lot of states looking funny!

  • Alan Reboli

    Good riddance. WiMax is the worst and can’t think of one good thing about it.

  • Janson

    got the Evo first day and the Evo 3D first day, and I’ve really liked both, but as the year progressed the 3D felt like it was falling technologically behind the Galaxy by too much. So I’m a little less eager to lock in another year if HTC will be falling even further behind. I may have to wait to see what Samsung does (though I strong prefer HTC over Samsung).

    I get great wimax at home and at work – downloaded a gig the other night, no problem. So there’s no way I’m getting a phone that will lean on 3G until the network builds out. I need 4G data at work and at home from day one. And that seems really unlikely. it’s also about which towers they build out first. I couldn’t care less about regional or city coverage. It’s my home and my work that matter to me. I could even see having to switch carrier if Sprint takes too long.

    • Loomis Peabody

      Im in the same boat buddy. I get great wimax Coverage right now so no way I’m goin back to 3g while I wait for lte to get up and running. I have the epic4gtouch right now and even though I’m do for an upgrade next month I’m just gonna keep it til lte is in full swing.

  • alxrock

    I still have my OG EVO 4G that I’ve had since launch and plan on upgrading to the EVO ONE when it launches. I didn’t really use WiMax 4G very much since I usually have WiFi connections available, but it’ll be nice to see Sprint improve their network for when I’m not so lucky.

  • fletchtb

    WiMax we hardly knew ye…

    That iPhone vs EVO YouTube video is still hilarious to this day…. “I want the one with the bigger GeeBees”

  • mmitchum

    I wonder if they’ll add an LTE tax like they did when the Evo 4G came out. I wouldn’t put it past them. Even though their prices are really competitive that “premium data charge” really pissed me off!

    • Fury

      Yeah they are pretty good at making changes to eke every last dollar they can out of you. The last change to the family plan and discounts really torqued me – even though it amounted to only $5/mo. It all adds up. If the service was excellent I guess you could argue…

  • Aurorajp

    Wife and I are sitting on our 2 Hero’s right now trying to figure out what to do. We were going to get the GSII but I’m worried about what Wimax coverage will be like 18-24 months from now when almost of the LTE markets have rolled out. We’re in the west burbs of Chicago and 3G service has been worse than miserable for the last month or two.

    We’re leaving for vacation with the kids to Disney in late April and I’d like to have a new phone by then for the Disney app, and other purposes. Thinking about jumping ship and going to Verizon to get the GNex, pure Google sounds good to me. I figured out between the cost of the GNex vs. the GSII with Sprint we’d only pay $200 more over the course of 2 years.

    Any thoughts on if the GSII with Sprint is still worth it? Or more so if the price comes down to $99 for upgrades…

    • Loomis Peabody

      Dude I have the gsll and I love it. Like I said earlier, even though I’m due for an upgrade I’m gonna keep it til lte is in my area.

  • Orion78

    My upgrade is next month. My plan is to wait it out. Next week is the new EVO announcement. That phone will be on the list as one of my choices. My final disicion will all come down to when Samsung announces the GS3. By then I will know what phone my upgrade will be.

  • mattcoz

    All I know is that it’s probably a good thing that Chicago isn’t getting LTE right away, I won’t be tempted to ditch the EVO 3D I got late last year.

  • Nathan D.

    Nice, hopefully they will roll out pretty quickly and everybody will be happy, but the only problem is that you’ll need to get a phone that supports it.

  • honourbound68

    By roaming agreements do the mean LTE roaming? As far as I’ve read, sprint and Verizon’s lte are different bands.

  • jerkyjones

    Wasn’t Kansas City included in the first half roll-out? I seem to recall it being added after the first few cities were added.

    • wilso850

      Yea, I live in Kansas City and I definitely remember seeing that, lets hope its true..

      • mickjen

        Still listed on Sprint’s Nexus page.

        Perhaps it is included in the high-speed internet campaign that Google is beta testing in KCMO and KCK.

  • will

    got on board with sprint about this time last year as my hand was forced. V stopped their u/l data plan and ATT….well…..anyway, that left just S.

    i picked up the moto photon and luv the hell out of it. I can say that while on the S network, i have had no voice issues. the data is a whole other issue. i have completely given up on 4G. i can’t stream media for sh*t. SO, i just do my 3g thing. i can manage ok with 3g (raido) but can’t watch youtube or netflix unfortuantely.

    as San Antonio is at the top of the list regarding the LTE network, i am going to be buying a new phone as soon as possible IF the LTE is as good is expecting it to be.

  • Steve Barry

    I’ve had an upgrade for about a year now (Epic 4G bought off contract) and haven’t moved at all. I’m basically waiting it out. I know the SGSIII will the last of the three major phones released, and that’s the one I’m currently planning on getting. Now, if the Galaxy Nexus has upgraded specs from the Verizon model, I may get that, but if not, it’s probably going to be SGSIII all the way. I’m obviously not going to get a WiMax phone even though it’s supposed to be supported through 2015 and I’m in an area where I get it.

    However, LTE is already being deployed in the Chicago area, starting in the West Burbs and moving inward. The reason it wasn’t announced in the main marketing plan is because it won’t be complete until around October/November this year, and they didn’t want to announce it until this summer. I believe they started the transition here around November 2011, and since Chicago is one of the biggest undertakings they have, they haven’t officially announced it yet.

    I’d be willing to bet money I’m probably swimming in Sprint’s LTE right now (I live over in the West Burbs), I just don’t have a phone that can prove it.

  • YNWA

    This will be great for competition if we can have 3 carriers with good LTE networks (and possibly a fourth) if T Mobile ever figures out what they are going to do.

    LTE is great, but without competition, LTE is not so great.

    • honourbound68

      actually atm, lte is not great (yet). hspa+ has tremendous speed w/o battery drain and hspa+ radios can use voice & data concurrently. not so with lte. but, the in the near future lte-advanced will be implemented which than way higher throughput than hspa+ and we will also get voice over lte. i’m hoping that at some point even international carriers use lte so that any phone can be used on any carrier (provided that they use the same lte bands).

  • glennw

    I’m not going to get a Sprint LTE phone until I hear reports of people seeing LTE in my area, until then, I’ll just stick with my OG Evo 4G.

    And if the phone has a non-removable battery, I’ll have to wait for either reports that the confirm the phone has exceptional battery life, or a newer phone with replaceable battery is available.

    • titleistcm

      That sounds like the best plan for me as well. I just can’t wait to ditch my huge add-on battery on my Evo 4G. Plus, the most annoying part of this phone is constantly running out of space for apps, even though I have a huge SD card that sits mostly empty.