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Sprint Details Shift To LTE

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the anticipating-iphone-data-hogs dept.

Wireless Networking 183

New submitter jmeboi writes "Engadget reports that Sprint has announced a rollover from WiMAX to LTE for its 4G needs. The company is 'converting its 1900MHz holdings and LightSquared's 1600MHz spectrum ("pending FCC approval") to LTE,' and also re-purposing the section of 800MHz spectrum that was set aside for the defunct iDEN push-to-talk network. 'The company plans for a rapid deployment of this new 4G, with the first LTE markets and handsets to hit in mid-2012 with the full rollout mostly completed by 2013. Current subscribers signed up for WiMAX plans won't have to worry, as their devices will continue to be supported throughout 2012.'"

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uhh... (3, Insightful)

metalgamer84 (1916754) | about 3 years ago | (#37640240)

So my new Evo Shift 4G will no longer have WiMAX/4G capability after 2012? Unlike some people, I don't buy new phones every 2 years...

Re:uhh... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37640292)

Are you a nigger? If you are then the taxpayer will buy your cellphone for you. But good luck getting this if you're white. Something nasty happened 200 years ago so we play blatant favorites today. Makes perfect sense and you're a racist if you think all people should be treat equally ... somehow.

Re:uhh... (1, Informative)

darkmeridian (119044) | about 3 years ago | (#37640322)

Taxpayers don't buy cellphones for blacks, you moron. And don't forget that up until fifty year ago, we were siccing dogs on protesters fighting for civil rights. Seventy years ago, we were just stringing up blacks from trees. And don't forget that today, we have morons like you.

Re:uhh... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37640452)

Taxpayers don't buy cellphones for blacks, you moron. And don't forget that up until fifty year ago, we were siccing dogs on protesters fighting for civil rights. Seventy years ago, we were just stringing up blacks from trees. And don't forget that today, we have morons like you.

Yeah and now that we stopped all of that, what do we get? Gang violence, drug abuse, abuse of women, thug worship, underachievement, getting an education is "acting white" and makes you an "uncle tom", etc.

You sure we made the right choice?

We need to offer the blacks 2 options. Either integrate into society and stop trying so hard to be different (after 200 years its okay to drop the pidgin "accent") and stop being so fucking violent, or we go back to the Jim Crow era. Can't control yourselves? No problem, we've done it for you before and can do it again. I'm fucking tired, tired, TIRED of walking down the road wondering if that pack of 20 aggressive young black males is going to mug me.

Even Jesse Fucking Jackson admitted that when he is walking down the street and hears somebody behind him, he is relieved to see they are white. Google it if you don't believe me. In case you hadn't noticed, Jackson is fucking BLACK. Why, it is almost as though both he and I are viewing an objective reality and calling it what it is. Go get your panties in a wad and tell me what a terrible person I am if that's really all you've got.

Re:uhh... (0)

Flyerman (1728812) | about 3 years ago | (#37640822)

Was there even a concept for the abuse of women 200 years ago? Or was it just how things were?

Re:uhh... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37641014)

I'm going to ignore the most controversial things you're saying (the more obvious trolls) and highlight this:

(after 200 years its okay to drop the pidgin "accent")

Are you serious? African-American people's accents are much more American than African these days. The closest thing I can say is that they sound a lot like some white southerners, even if they are in the north or west. If you think African-Americans speak with a "pidgin" you are really mistaken about languages of the world and what they sound like. I've lived in US cities with high black populations and also known a few African-born people who moved to the United States, and the latter category sounds much more like the stereotype you're trying to evoke than a US-born black person.

I also wouldn't discount the idea that there are genetic or inherited physiological characteristics that contribute to an "ethnic" or "racial" accent. I actually first noticed this with Asian people. I've known lots of 2nd-generation-or-so Asian people who grew up in white neighborhoods of various cities and knew nothing of their ancestral languages. When I thought about it, I noticed commonalities in their accents that I couldn't hear in other people's speech. The really trippy thing was when I heard a European-born Asian person, a generation or so removed from their ancestral country, speaking a European language. Their accent was on some level eerily similar to the Americans I knew. At that point I have to say, well, either they somehow keep some family cultural connection that I'm not aware of, or there is some other factor contributing to the accent.

Re:uhh... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37641244)

Horse. Shit.

You are more racist than the original troll.

Re:uhh... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37641310)

Nah, man. Just kind of a nerd about accents. I'm sorry if you found this offensive, these are my actual observations based on listening to people very closely.

The "black people sound like white southerners" thing is very well-known and standard analysis. For example the wikipedia page on African-American Vernacular English says:

Many features of AAVE are shared with English dialects spoken in the American South.

The thing about genetic contribution is more my own "original research" and I admit it's more controversial. But we would probably agree that genetic factors contribute to other attributes, such as height, skin tone, etc. Why not also something about your vocal chords, or the shape of your throat or mouth, or something else that contributes to speech patterns? I don't have any proof beyond my own observations, but I don't think I'm judging people on race, only listening to the way their voice sounds.

Re:uhh... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37640392)

Your extensive knowledge of history and economics is astounding and intriguing. Can you please share some more stories with us? I'd love to hear about the time the Kaiser stole your twos.

Re:uhh... (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37640382)

This is what happens when you let the free market decide on standards with geographical monopolies. This is why a particular protocol is mandated with spectrum sales in most of the world. Irrespective of the relative technical merits of GSM versus CDMA, it's pretty clear that GSM is superior to CDMA and GSM with incompatible client devices for the two networks and customers locked in to one or the other depending on what phone they bought. It appears that the USA didn't learn from this mistake the first time around...

Intentional Balkanization = detrimental to consume (1)

kbahey (102895) | about 3 years ago | (#37640874)

I wrote a comment a few days ago here [slashdot.org] about the intentional balkanization in the USA and Canada, where a network owns "spectrum" and handsets work only on that network frequencies.

Re:uhh... (1, Funny)

msauve (701917) | about 3 years ago | (#37640876)

"it's pretty clear that GSM is superior to CDMA "

+1 Funny

Re:uhh... (2)

pancake_lover (310091) | about 3 years ago | (#37640898)

WiMax is not CDMA.

Re:uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37640948)

Uhh yea, centralized planning has never mad poor infrastructure decisions:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1339536/Ghost-towns-China-Satellite-images-cities-lying-completely-deserted.html

And you're aware Japan uses CDMA a lot as well, right?

2G GSM had security issues with it encryption and only used TDM instead of the superior spread-spectrum encoding used by CDMA. When GSM evolved to include spread-spectrum encoding the differences went away.

Re:uhh... (3, Informative)

Bengie (1121981) | about 3 years ago | (#37641158)

lawl.. GSM better than CMDA...

CDMA uses 1/3 to 1/10th the power of GSM, all the while having better range, more resilient to interference, signal bouncing can actually improve signal strength, tower hand-off rarely results in dropped calls, and supports more customers per tower by several factors. oh, and they're easier to setup because they all use the same frequency, so you don't have to check with any other tower operators.

I guess GSM is cheaper to implement.. so it's clearly better.

Re:uhh... (3, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | about 3 years ago | (#37641328)

None of that matters if you like to travel. Or if you like to actually own a phone and can swap out SIM cards to change phone numbers and carriers quickly.

Or if you like fast 3G (EVDO vs UMTS/HSPDA).

So CDMA is technically better, in theory but in practice its a lot of lock-in and slow ass 3G. There's more to deciding which is better than just tech specs on a piece of paper, but this being slashdot, we have the "TECHNICALLY CORRECT IS THE BEST KIND OF CORRECT" crowd.

No you are just confusing things (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 3 years ago | (#37641420)

Saying GSM is "better" than CDMA implies a technical benefit, that the standard itself is superior. That is not the case. GSM is much more widely adopted than CDMA. Now that is a very legit reason to use it. But let's not confuse "widely adopted" with "better".

As to what is best for you to use, well that is up to the individual.

Re:uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37641528)

then don't make silly statements like "GSM is better than CDMA".

> "So CDMA is technically better"

There is no other kind of "better". GSM is more widely adopted around the world so GMS is more popular, but not better.

> "TECHNICALLY CORRECT IS THE BEST KIND OF CORRECT"

absolutely, you sound a little bitter

Re:uhh... (2)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 3 years ago | (#37641456)

Range and ultimate power requirements are a function of the frequency not necessarily the protocol being used.

CDMA is spread spectrum which makes it more resistant to interference than GSM. However due to the signal-to-noise ratio being influenced by the number of people using the band, CDMA does require more power to operate during peak usage times. On the other hand, GSM uses time division for multiple users on the same frequency and frequency division to spread the load which allows it to use less power compared to CDMA when operating on similar bands.

I think it may be a little unfair to use anecdotal evidence against GSM since CDMA networks tend to be on the 800MHz band and GSM tend to be in the 1700-1900 MHz band which means CDMA usually penetrates buildings better and have higher range per watt transmitted. When I am in a sparsely populated state like New Mexico, my quad-band phone uses the 800 MHz band for GSM and I don't detect much difference between my T-Mobile phone using Prairie Wireless Towers and my co-workers Verizon phone using CDMA.

As for your other points, I like to see some references.

Re:uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37641822)

Uh... In the States, the 1700-1900MHz band's used for both GSM and CDMA. In fact the first CDMA gear fielded, by PrimeCo (which was a joint venture by the companies that eventually merged to form Verizon...) as an experiment, used that frequency and used a Qualcomm brick phone, along with fielding the first tech to put towers in the middle of high tension towers safely.

Re:uhh... (3, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 3 years ago | (#37641388)

This is what happens when you let the free market decide on standards with geographical monopolies. This is why a particular protocol is mandated with spectrum sales in most of the world. Irrespective of the relative technical merits of GSM versus CDMA, it's pretty clear that GSM is superior to CDMA and GSM with incompatible client devices for the two networks and customers locked in to one or the other depending on what phone they bought. It appears that the USA didn't learn from this mistake the first time around...

That's so right. I really like the ability to pay 20Euros a month and roam anywhere within the EU without paying any roaming charges since all my calls/texts are included in the flat fee no matter where I am in the EU. Add in a data plan and I don't have to worry about data charges while I roam either.

Different markets evolve differently - for 90% of the US phone use the incompatibility is a non-issue - they have a phone that works wherever they go. They get a flat price no matter where they roam in an area roughly as big as the EU. With the advent of "free" mobile to mobile and nights and weekends even the minute caps are largely a non-issue. Nor do I have to worry if I call a cell phone form a land line - no extra charge their either.

While what we have is different than what you have, it's not inherently better or worse - just different and an adaptation to our market characteristics.

Re:uhh... (1)

stox (131684) | about 3 years ago | (#37641416)

LTE is derived from CDMA technologies, not GSM.

Re:uhh... (1)

Solandri (704621) | about 3 years ago | (#37641636)

it's pretty clear that GSM is superior to CDMA

CDMA wiped the floor with GSM. The original TDMA/GSM is only used for voice today. TDMA/GSM is pathetic because you allocate exclusive bandwidth to a phone even if it's never used. It's still tolerated for voice because voice uses so little bandwidth, but it's completely unsuitable for data. That's why the CDMA carriers rolled out 3G years before the GSM carriers. The CDMA carriers just cranked up the bandwidth of their voice hardware (which is why you cannot simultaneously talk and use the web on CDMA 3G - they use the same radio). The GSM carriers had to come up with an entirely new network protocol and hardware [wikipedia.org] based on wideband CDMA, then graft it onto GSM in order to compete (which is why you can simultaneously talk and use the web on GSM 3G - their voice and data use different radios). That's right, GSM was forced to adopt CDMA for data to stay competitive.

If the US had mandated GSM as a standard instead of letting the market decide, the world would probably still be stuck with 128 kbps cellular data network speeds today because it would've been illegal to use the superior technology. CDMA is now being superseded by variants of OFDMA [wikipedia.org] which require a lot more signal processing. CPUs have gotten fast enough and low power enough to make that practical now on a mobile device without killing your battery life.

I do agree though that GSM's SIM card is the way to go.

Re:uhh... (4, Informative)

ahow628 (1290052) | about 3 years ago | (#37640442)

The submitter is wrong. They said they would sell Wimax devices through 2012. They will mostly likely support Wimax for far long than that.

Re:uhh... (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | about 3 years ago | (#37640594)

I got my EVO 3D two or three months ago. The way this sounds, they could stop supporting my phone before the 2-year contract is up.

Re:uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37640832)

Sprint has said they plan to support 4G devices for the foreseeable future. The summary is wrong. They will continue to be sold through 2012. The network upgrades they're doing will allow Sprint to cheaply support both WiMax and LTE on the same hardware so that they won't have to phase it out for a long time.

Re:uhh... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 3 years ago | (#37640848)

I wouldn't worry too much about it. The WiMax network will probably hang around for a LONG time, long after your phone's obsolete and you're on the 3rd contract since.

Given the old analog AMPS network took until what, 2008? to be killed, and the installed base of mobile and fixed WiMax stations, there's probably at least a decade of WiMax coverage.

Heck, the old CDMA phones will probably work as well for a long time coming purely due to installed base.

And at the very least, you'd probably have 3G service.

These transistions take years to accomplish, and Sprint's got an investment in WiMax gear they're not going to suddenly abandon (it's fairly expensive), so WiMax will still be around. And face it, LTE's not hitting its stride yet (most of the "4G" phones out there are still HSPA+ if you look closely, NOT LTE).

Heck, Sprint may keep the WiMax stuff for a long time coming for fixed WiMax coverage use, or limited mobile to fixed use (i.e., company fleet trucks that don't leave a metro region).

Re:uhh... (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 3 years ago | (#37641152)

Clearwire has an investment in WiMax, not Sprint, and Sprint is really tired of Clearwire stabbing its largest shareholder in the back by trying to sell the WiMax service cheaper than Sprint can. Why do you think Sprint signed with LightSquared for LTE? When Sprint moves away from Clearwire, they'll probably end up in bankruptcy with the network being shutdown or piecemeal sold.

Re:uhh... (1)

Gyorg_Lavode (520114) | about 3 years ago | (#37641346)

My understanding was the wimax basestation equipment was software upgradable to LTE....

Re:uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37640734)

So my new Evo Shift 4G will no longer have WiMAX/4G capability after 2012? Unlike some people, I don't buy new phones every 2 years...

Do you not have a contract? And yet you have 4G? You do know that when you sign a new contract, they usually give you like $200-300 off the cost of a phone (for each line you have), essentially making it free. I fail to see how "free" could be out of your budget if using 4G isn't.

Re:uhh... (1)

afidel (530433) | about 3 years ago | (#37641168)

It has WiMax coverage now? I live in one of the pilot markets and several years later I still can't get 4g signal any of the places where I spend 90% of my time (work, restaurants around work (~8 mile radius from work), and home). If it wasn't for the fact that 4G is a required billing item with the Shift I would have dropped it long ago.

Re:uhh... (1)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | about 3 years ago | (#37641274)

FTFA:

By the end of next year, Sprint aims to have a combined WiMAX/LTE population coverage of 176 million -- with 123 million covered by LTE and 76 million overlapping both.

They are planning on overlapping the technologies.

Wow. A whole year? (0)

Chas (5144) | about 3 years ago | (#37640242)

I sure feel lucky!

Re:Wow. A whole year? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37640318)

The summary misrepresents what Sprint is saying. They are saying they will continue to sell Wimax phones through 2012, so if you want to use Wimax you can still get new phones, as far as supporting Wimax itself, I assume if your still selling Wimax phones in 2012, wimax will continue for at least two years after.

Re:Wow. A whole year? (2)

mcavic (2007672) | about 3 years ago | (#37640378)

Right, it doesn't actually say anything about discontinuing Wimax.

Re:Wow. A whole year? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 years ago | (#37640438)

Two years? And what happens after that? The phone stops working? I still use a handspring visor (circa 1999). I expect a phone to last at least as long. There'd be no point switching if the phone is going to die in a couple of years.

Re:Wow. A whole year? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37640604)

You, my friend, need to re-evaluate your expectations. This isn't 1999 anymore. Sorry to rain on your parade, but it's time to put on your big-boy pants and return to reality.

kthxbye

Re:Wow. A whole year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37641382)

You, my friend, need to re-evaluate your expectations. This isn't 1999 anymore. Sorry to rain on your parade, but it's time to put on your big-boy pants and return to reality.

kthxbye

But things were so much better back at a point when I was younger and more impressionable! The technology had SOUL, and you young whippersnappers wouldn't understand that! Oooooooo! It makes me so mad, I just have this urge to... I don't know... yell at you to... um... get... off my... lawn? Why am I being drawn to yelling at you for that? WHAT'S HAPPENING TO ME?!??!??!?

In all seriousness, from this and other "the technology and societal norms *I* grew up with should stay with us FOREVAR" whinings tell me that our generation got OLD , with a capital OLD, reeeeeeeeeal fast.

And nothing of value was lost (3, Insightful)

Erich (151) | about 3 years ago | (#37640312)

The WiMAX network is pretty bad. Coverage is virtually nonexistant, even in cities "with WiMAX coverage" In Austin, there are very few places where WiMAX works ... and seemingly never in places like the airport where you actually want it. If you ever happen to get it working, speeds are marginally better than EVDO.

LTE should work much better, and it will align with the rest of the industry.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37640494)

WiMAX is very picky. I get 9M/2M at the street and 1000' away behind a few trees that goes to 1.5M/0.7M. WiMAX upstream performance is absymal unless you have a strong signal. With a good signal, it's almost as good as cable.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | about 3 years ago | (#37640888)

How is your general Sprint coverage here? It used to be fairly spotty.

Personally, I miss the old AT&T Wireless TDMA days, as far as voice traffic is concerned. TDMA had the best voice quality. It was super-fantastic. People asked me if I was on a landline all the time, even if I was talking inside the house, in a valley, under enormous trees.

-l

Re:And nothing of value was lost (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about 3 years ago | (#37641418)

inside the house, in a valley, under enormous trees

How big is your house?

Re:And nothing of value was lost (1)

bendilts (1902562) | about 3 years ago | (#37640998)

I get a pretty steady 6Mpbs down/1.5Mbps up on my Evo 3D here in Salt Lake City. In Las Vegas I get about 10/1.5. Coverage in the Bay Area is a little more spotty (especially on highways), but I had a pretty solid connection in downtown San Francisco, Milpitas, and many other locations.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (1)

WarlockD (623872) | about 3 years ago | (#37641320)

I don't know. To be honest the biggest problem I have had with my EVO was the 3G/4G handoff. IT works great in 4G areas but when its spotty it keeps switching between networks and slows down my browsing speed ALOT. I always have to force it to 3G in general.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37641688)

Yes, LTE should work.

The WiMax coverage in my city is pretty robust and averages about 3.5 Mbps download. Keep in mind though that there are many 4G users sharing the spectrum so you're just getting a slice of a busy pie.

Cheers from Sweden (1)

Co0Ps (1539395) | about 3 years ago | (#37640360)

We've had 4G here now for over a year. (Real 4G, not the 3G+ that I heard some providers in the US has been marketing as "4G") I'm running it on my laptop right now. Works like a charm... 20-80 mbit wireless is sweet. Now if only they'd remove the monthly 40GB cap... also the proprietary windows only mobile internet client is utter and total crap. Hopefully they'll build it into all operating systems soon so I can connect just like Wi-Fi.

Re:Cheers from Sweden (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37640422)

What sort of density are you getting 20-80Mb/s with? 20Mb/s in rural areas would be nice (better than the 1Mb/s my mother gets through ADSL...), but 20Mb/s in urban areas with lots of users would be impressive. What sort of cell size (i.e. subscribers per cell) gives you that kind of real-world throughput?

Re:Cheers from Sweden (2)

doston (2372830) | about 3 years ago | (#37640598)

Wow congratulations. You're able to cover an area the size of Delaware. I wonder what you could do for Big countries.

Re:Cheers from Sweden (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37640798)

So, what's the 4G service like in Delaware?

No, you haven't. (1)

jpstanle (1604059) | about 3 years ago | (#37641552)

We've had 4G here now for over a year. (Real 4G, not the 3G+ that I heard some providers in the US has been marketing as "4G")

No you haven't. "Real" 4G as defined by the ITU doesn't actually exist yet. You may have LTE networks, but they're Rel 8 or Rel 9 stuff. As far as LTE goes, only LTE-Advanced is "real" 4G, and the standards for LTE-Advanced haven't even been finalized yet, let alone any commercial products available that support it.

Fingers crossed... (1)

isaachulvey (964254) | about 3 years ago | (#37640368)

I wonder if this is a subtle way of saying the Nexus Prime is coming to Sprint. All rumors I've seen are pointing to an exclusive Verizon release, but with Sprint moving to LTE, let's hope the Prime is on the way!

Re:Fingers crossed... (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 3 years ago | (#37640590)

It isn't going to happen overnight. By the time they have any kind of respectable LTE coverage there will be a half dozen phones that blow the Prime out of the water. Which is both sad and exciting.

iPhone (1)

Caviller (1420685) | about 3 years ago | (#37640370)

Wait What Hu????

I throught that Sprint was about to get the iPhone that worked with their 4G offerings now??? So everyone that buys one now will have to buy a new phone for the new system in 1 year??? Me thinks someone did not think this through long enough.

Re:iPhone (2)

DdJ (10790) | about 3 years ago | (#37640444)

Nope, there is no such thing as an iPhone that works woth 4G, on the market or announced. The Sprint iPhone 4S is a strictly 3G device, just like the Verizon, AT&T, and unlocked iPhone 4S.

Re:iPhone (1)

Caviller (1420685) | about 3 years ago | (#37640572)

Doh! i can't believe i wrote that....i know better...ug. Why did Apple have to go confuse everything witht he 3G labled iPhone.

Re:iPhone (1)

phayes (202222) | about 3 years ago | (#37641070)

How is it confusing that the iPhone 3G was the first model to work on 3G networks? The 4 & the 4S are not 4G phones & do not have any 'G's in their names that's not confusing either. It looks like you're just generally confused...

Re:iPhone (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 3 years ago | (#37640482)

Except iPhones are still only 3g

Re:iPhone (1)

bsharitt (580506) | about 3 years ago | (#37640502)

The iPhone is still only 3G and their 3G network isn't going anywhere.

Re:iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37640538)

Wrong.

The iPhone is not 4g, only GSM/CDMA. There is no LTE or WiMax support on any model.

Re:iPhone (2)

DikSeaCup (767041) | about 3 years ago | (#37640588)

Read some of the iPhone 4S doco/articles, and you'll discover that it's not a 4G device. On *anyone's* network.

It will do HSPA+ 14.4, but that's supposedly only marginally faster than 3G speeds (I haven't done more than read an article or two about it).

One would theorize that when Apple finally makes a 4G device, it will be LTE (which is what Verizon and AT&T are already deploying) and not WiMAX (which is what Sprint deployed and will probably abandon by 2014). So, best that Sprint at least have some LTE deployed by the time Apple releases a 4G capable iPhone.

On a personal note, I've been a Sprint user for eons, and got an Epic 4G on release day. I've got until probably second quarter 2012 on the contract, so I'll probably wait to see what's available and if my area has LTE before I upgrade. The Epic Touch 4G is nice, but I'd rather save the money (and wait to see how things are next year).

And it probably won't be an iPhone when I do upgrade.

Re:iPhone (2)

afidel (530433) | about 3 years ago | (#37641280)

HSPA+ offers download up to 14.4Mbps, way faster than most initial 3G tech and over twice as fast a EVDO revB.

Nexus S 4G User. (1)

tycoex (1832784) | about 3 years ago | (#37640374)

Despite this meaning that I will have to buy a new phone in 2013 or lose 4g access, I'm still very happy with it.

Sprint is by far the cheapest cellular provider so I have no intentions of switching. This means that my next phone will have faster and more reliable internet. It's worth needing to buy a new phone as far as I'm concerned.

The other shoe.... (1)

krelvin (771644) | about 3 years ago | (#37640480)

Rate hikes on data plans for new LTE data on Sprint has not yet been announced.

Re:The other shoe.... (1)

tycoex (1832784) | about 3 years ago | (#37640788)

Hopefully you would be grandfathered in if they raised the rates.... hopefully.

Re:Nexus S 4G User. (1)

cos(0) (455098) | about 3 years ago | (#37640626)

I assume you're a fan of mobile data. Sprint is by far not the cheapest cellular provider. For cheapest, look into Virgin Mobile's [virginmobileusa.com] $40/mo "unlimited" data and texting and T-Mobile's newest offering: "unlimited" 4G prepaid for $30/mo [pcmag.com] .

Re:Nexus S 4G User. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37640828)

Virgin Mobile is rebranded Sprint. (Check out the About Us page. It's a wholly owned subsidiary.)

Which means that, even if you get a cheaper plan, you're still using Sprint's network. With their horrible coverage, horribly slow transfer speeds, and useless 4G coverage. (They could drop WiMax right now and I literally would not be able to tell, because there's no coverage where I live or anywhere near where I live.)

Re:Nexus S 4G User. (1)

maxume (22995) | about 3 years ago | (#37641130)

Virgin Mobile is just a Sprint brand.

There is a big difference though, Virgin Mobile branded devices only talk to Sprint owned towers, they don't get any service from Verizon.

Re:Nexus S 4G User. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37641692)

"unlimited" indeed.

From Virgin Mobile's website:

Starting early 2012, if you use over 2.5GB of data in a month, your data speeds will be reduced to 256 kbps or below for the rest of your month. During this time, you may experience slower page loads and file downloads and lags in streaming media. Data speeds will return to normal as soon as your next plan month starts.

Sprint's unlimited data plans are just that. Unlimited, as in limited only by virtue of the underlying technology and your signal strength. Virgin Mobile will throttle you to 256kbps, or 2.7GB/day. 84GB/month is quite a bit to burn through on a phone, but it is not "unlimited".

That being said, I'm a loyal Sprint customer with a Palm Pre. My 3G speeds rarely, if ever, exceed 256kbps to begin with :\

Read the article (1)

AlphaBit (1244464) | about 3 years ago | (#37640432)

The image clearly shows the WiMax phones will continue to be sold through 2012. WiMax support will probably exist for 2 years after that (2014)

Sprint contract SPLOOGE (1)

doston (2372830) | about 3 years ago | (#37640448)

Finally got that facial I've been waiting for from Sprint! Was delighted to receive a letter last week letting me know that they're ditching my unlimited data plan for my mediocre Evo, but not to worry, I can simply pay more to retain if (if I act now!!) Isn't that nice of them? I didn't even have to wait for my contract to come up! Was delighted how they can change the contract mid-stream, but if I were to ask for a phone upgrade before the two year mark....well you get the picture. I'm sure all of this is in preparation for the DATA HOG that is iPhone. Apple's off to annihilate another data network!! Think I'll buy the iPhone just to drive their tech support nuts with issues.

Re:Sprint contract SPLOOGE (1)

Slashdot Suxxors (1207082) | about 3 years ago | (#37640872)

You're bitching about an extra $10 charge to keep your unlimited data? It's still cheaper than any other post-paid carrier besides T-Mobile, which is pretty horrendus as far as coverage goes.

Give us actual 4G please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37640484)

Stop faffing about with this fake 4G crap and bring us in line with Europe and SE Asia, which is miles ahead of us in mobile.

Does europe have some magical fairy technology? (1)

jpstanle (1604059) | about 3 years ago | (#37641674)

This article is about Sprint rolling out an LTE network, and in case you didn't know, LTE is basically state-of-the-art in mobile access technologies. Of standards on the horizon, only LTE-Advanced is superior, but the standards for it aren't even finalized. There won't be any LTE-Advanced products for a few years.

The US carriers have been lagging europe and asia for a while, but they can catch up very quickly with LTE rollouts since there really isn't anything better than LTE right now. And once LTE-Advanced is finished, it's basically just a software upgrade to existing LTE infrastructure.

What happens to Clear? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 3 years ago | (#37640496)

Since they use Sprint's WiMax network, I suppose Clear's customers will all have to throw away those $100 modems and buy new $100 modems?

Re:What happens to Clear? (1)

ahow628 (1290052) | about 3 years ago | (#37640570)

Clear actually owns the Wimax network. Sprint leases spectrum from Clear. Nice little hedge they had there.

Re:What happens to Clear? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 3 years ago | (#37640722)

Ahh, I didn't know that, and yes, nice hedge.

Re:What happens to Clear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37640814)

Well that explains why my 4G service sucks as badly as my Clear service did..

I haven't even gotten the 4G I've been paying for (1)

SlashInternet (2474152) | about 3 years ago | (#37640550)

I bought an HTC Evo when they first came out. I love the phone, but Sprint charges an extra $10 for 4G for the phone, even though it isn't available here. The plan was that it would be available here within 12 months, and in the mean time I had to pay for it because I could go to places where 4G works - I got to use it in an airport once for about 20 minutes.

Re:I haven't even gotten the 4G I've been paying f (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 3 years ago | (#37641006)

They charge that same 10 bucks for all smart phones now, not just 4g.

Clear customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37640584)

aargh, I am happy with Clear, it works well all over L.A. Cable modems are oversubscribed in my area and evening "rush hour" crawls. I loved cutting the cable a few months ago, would hate to have to come crawling back to them for internet. Nevermind the fact that I am on the road around town and need decent mobile internet.

Is PTT officially dead? (1)

markhb (11721) | about 3 years ago | (#37640618)

I knew they were no longer pushing (sorry) the iDEN PTT network in their ads, but have they actually turned it off?

Re:Is PTT officially dead? (1)

MBCook (132727) | about 3 years ago | (#37640790)

They've been trying to. I believe they are about to launch new stuff that does PTT over CDMA. The iden network is expensive and a pain for them.

Re:Is PTT officially dead? (1)

jpstanle (1604059) | about 3 years ago | (#37641600)

Sprint/Nextel's iDEN network is scheduled to be phased out in 2013.

What happens to ClearWire? (1)

RobNich (85522) | about 3 years ago | (#37640654)

Sprint's WiMax network is provided by ClearWire. ClearWire is trying to switch to LTE, is already running trials, and is seeking funding. It's not clear to me what exactly Sprint is doing...are they going to pay ClearWire to upgrade to LTE? Or are they abandoning their relationship with ClearWire?

I'm a recently-added ClearWire customer, and I have a 2-year contract to be on WiMax. If Sprint puts together their own LTE network, ClearWire will be dead. As a doornail.

Re:What happens to ClearWire? (1)

andy9o (1235174) | about 3 years ago | (#37640990)

Sprint is majority shareholder of ClearWire

Re:What happens to ClearWire? (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 3 years ago | (#37641172)

Sprint is abandoning Clearwire for LightSquared-deployed LTE.

I don't think "rollover of WiMax" is accurate. (1)

jpstanle (1604059) | about 3 years ago | (#37641722)

They may stop pushing WiMax, but the article makes no mention of repurposing the 2500Mhz band that spring/clearwire use for WiMax. The only thing I've seen about anything being turned off is their legacy iDEN equipment, the spectrum for which they will use for LTE rollouts. I haven't seen any indication that Sprint plans to turn off their 2500Mhz WiMax, or deploy LTE on that spectrum.

V.90 (3, Funny)

clinko (232501) | about 3 years ago | (#37640672)

So it looks like X2 and K56flex have a new challenger...

Now all carriers are going to LTE... (2, Interesting)

generalhavok (1432165) | about 3 years ago | (#37640752)

I'm excited with the developments in LTE, because it's nice to see that all carriers in the USA will eventually be supporting the same standard. For far too long in the states we've had so much confusion and complication because of CDMA vs GSM. I'm glad that the CDMA carriers (Verizon and Sprint) are finally upgrading to a better standard.

I'm dreaming of a future where the USA will be like the rest of the world, where we'll be able to buy an unlocked phone, and use it on any carrier we chose. I'm currently using an unlocked phone, but my choice in carriers is limited to just AT&T (being as T-Mobile doesn't cover here). It's still cheaper, if you buy an unlocked phone, and then get a prepaid SIM card. Life would be so much simpler if all the carriers supported one standard, and an LTE phone would work with any network.

It might be Apple that pushes us to this point. As they've repeatadly shown, they prefer to only build one model of phone. The iPhone finally got a CDMA variant last year, but this year, it's all one model again, because they found a chip that supports both CDMA and GSM, as well as all 3g frequencies. Apple wants to build an LTE phone, and all carriers want to have it, and Apple will not want to build two different LTE phones. Meaning we'll get one LTE phone, and as LTE is backwards compatible with GSM, it requires a SIM card. When they do that, and other manufactures start doing it, we'll see an era where it might just be possible to buy an unlocked phone in the USA, and be able to buy a SIM card from any network you want to use.

This is my dream, but I'm thinking there has to be a catch. Why would the carriers want this kind of arrangement? They want to be able to lock people in, because they don't want to compete based just on who has the best service / price. But maybe, this is just an inconvenient fact for them, as the rest of the world moved on and developed standards, and in our global world, it just doesn't make sense to have your own proprietary standards anymore. CDMA is dying, and now so is WiMax. Both standards were only used by a few carriers, manufacturing phones and equipment to support them was more expensive just based on economies of scale, and they were unfriendly for the consumer. GSM is vastly more consumer friendly than CDMA, in terms of convenience and customer choice.

So, does the USA finally enter the 21st century, and have mobile phone systems that don't confuse the rest of the world?

Re:Now all carriers are going to LTE... (1)

Grave (8234) | about 3 years ago | (#37641272)

While they may all use LTE, but the LTE implementations are not identical. They use multiple different bands, which means the modems will need to support many frequencies in order to actually work across carriers. While it would be nice, there is no promise that phones released in the US are going to support all of them, and international frequencies will also likely wind up being different. The entire infrastructure system is a joke. I hope I end up being wrong, and that we end up having a truly global phone system that doesn't require extremely complex, expensive modems.

But then, that would make it vastly easier to have the service and phone become separate, forcing the carriers to actually compete with each other.

Re:Now all carriers are going to LTE... (1)

generalhavok (1432165) | about 3 years ago | (#37641370)

In most other countries, this is how it is - the phone is separate from the carrier.

Currently, most GSM phones are sold as quad-band phones, meaning they support four different frequencies of GSM, and therefore, support just about every carrier that uses GSM. Even if there are a handful of different frequencies, the underlying LTE technology is the same, so let's hope that it will be like GSM, where we see "quad-band LTE" or however many bands there end up being in use across the world.

Re:Now all carriers are going to LTE... (1)

EXrider (756168) | about 3 years ago | (#37641492)

HAH! Dream on, from [apple.com] : "The unlocked iPhone includes all the features of iPhone but without a contract commitment. You can activate and use it on the supported GSM wireless network of your choice, such as AT&T in the United States.* The unlocked iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S will not work with CDMA-based carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint."

So what this means essentially, is that Sprint and Verizon plan on continuing to be dicks, even though there's no technical limitation that would prevent the same unlocked 4S from working on any CDMA or GSM carrier. If you want an unlocked 4S, your only options for service in the US are ATT, Tmo or some crappy regional carrier such as CBW. In other news; ATT also refuses to allow Apple to provide unlock codes for iPhone 4's, even after your contract is fulfilled, it's total bullshit really.

Re:Now all carriers are going to LTE... (1)

generalhavok (1432165) | about 3 years ago | (#37641684)

Good point. I guess I did not read the fine print on that. But come to think of it, this has been a problem with CDMA phones as long as they've existed. As far as I know, it's pretty hard to buy an unlocked CDMA phone and use it with a different carrier than the one who sold it. I know some people who used to offer a service where they actually flashed the chips on a Verizon CDMA phone to allow for it to be used with Sprint. It was a lot more complicated than the relatively simple unlocking that can be done to a GSM phone to make it work with another GSM carrier. Even jailbreaking an iPhone is not overly complicated these days, and according to the law, it's not illegal. Carriers just want to be dicks.

With that said, I wonder why Sprint or Verizon wouldn't accept an unlocked phone. I wonder if it is a limitation of CDMA that makes it overly complicated. I know for a fact that both AT&T and T-Mobile are more than happy to sell me a SIM card when I walk in with an unlocked phone, and judging from the fine print on Apple's page, it seems it might be more of a technical limitation of CDMA, instead of the carriers not wanting to sell service to someone.

LightSquared vs. GPS (1)

CompMD (522020) | about 3 years ago | (#37640880)

Don't count your chickens before they're hatched. Several senators, congressmen, the FAA, and the DoD are against LightSquared.

Re:LightSquared vs. GPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37641444)

Maybe that's one reason why they're ditching Light Squared.

Re:LightSquared vs. GPS (1)

jmauro (32523) | about 3 years ago | (#37641568)

They're not against LightSquared, but the frequencies that were assigned for Lightsquare for their LTE to Satellite system. The assigned frequencies for the Satellite links were right next to the frequencies used for GPS and they want to be quite agressive in using those frequencies. This causes bleed over into the neighboring frequncies, which can normally be filtered out, but GPS works differently than most other comms systems and the signals it recieves are weak.

If Sprint is having LightSquared installed equipment on the telecom frequencies that they already own for land based communication (which it sounds like they are), it would have no effect ont he DoD\FAA complaints about their other system.

Good riddance to WiMax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37640896)

Wimax is pretty much useless. On my Evo it takes like 30 seconds for the 4G antenna to turn on. At which point, it's basically guaranteed that it won't actually connect to 4G. Not only is coverage super spotty, Its ability to penetrate buildings is almost non-existent. And if it has to switch from 4G to 3G, connection is disrupted.

Bah.

Sprint Coverage Getting Worse (1)

Gyorg_Lavode (520114) | about 3 years ago | (#37641408)

I live in Huntsville, AL and our sprint coverage has actually been getting worse. I don't know what they're doing, maybe upgrading the towers. (The local store said that they'd been enabling wimax which may be true as I can get it in my house, and no-where else.) Ultimately though, the strength of 3G has decreased horribly. I'm at the point where I'm seriously considering replacing my cell plan witha verizon mifi (4G and great coverage) and a VOIP subscription.

Lightsquared and the FCC (1)

vijayiyer (728590) | about 3 years ago | (#37641410)

The FCC sold of spectrum to Lightsquared without understanding its effect on GPS receivers. The entire aviation fleet would need to have upgraded instrumentation if LightSquared deploys in their spectrum, which was not intended for terrestrial use. There's a good chance GPS, which is now essentially safety critical, is going to win.

Contract Voided (1)

appmudpie (2479336) | about 3 years ago | (#37641538)

Read the fine print of your contract. Any changes to the contract can void it without a early termination charge. The account holder has to notify Sprint in writing within X days that they do not accept the changes; which automatically cancels the contract. Bring on GSM!!! You will be assimulated...
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