Sprint to deploy $20 Billion LTE Network with LightSquared 51
In the #3 spot in the US phone service provider race, Sprint has been working with Clearwire's WiMAX 4G network to provide their customers with the first 4G devices on any network. Unfortunately for these two companies, the billions of dollars that Sprint has put into Clearwire have resulted in less than optimal deployment and customer satisfaction patterns. So what is Sprint to do now, but find someone else to assist in managing their 4G efforts?
In steps LightSquared, a 15-month-old 4G LTE network provider with whom Sprint has sign a 15-year agreement. In that time period they are planning to spend some $15-20 billion deploying and expanding an LTE network, and no doubt they'll want a lot of 4G devices on their network to take advantage of it all (and to offset those huge costs).
What does all of this have to do with webOS, though? We know that HP is pushing the Veer as an AT&T 4G device, and the Pre3 will more than likely be marketed the same way (on AT&T). If Sprint is investing this much into their 4G networks, it is possible that they are waiting on a true 4G webOS device to come out and play for a bit before giving the Palm GBU another chance. Though we can't be too certain of this, and a Sprint LTE webOS device probably won't be coming out any time soon, either, since LightSquared has hardly created a large enough network yet for Sprint to capitalize on (especially given the aggressive speed of Verizon's LTE rollout).
Still, it's fun to think about and is something to keep an eye on in the future. Sprint and LightSquared are expected to have a formal announcement very soon, though we don't expect many more details to arrive that we haven't already gotten from Bloomberg. Sprint will probably also comment at some point on how this effects their relationship with Clearwire (or at the very least, Clearwire will try to calm down their stakeholders) - we'll let you know if anything interesting comes out of the talks.