Sprint still contemplating switch to LTE, will decide come summer | webOS Nation

Sprint still contemplating switch to LTE, will decide come summer

by Derek Kessler Tue, 15 Feb 2011 7:07 pm EST

Over in Spain at MWC, Bob Azzi (Sprint Senior Vice President of Networks) let a little nugget loose about Sprint’s torrid affair with LTE: they could still switch to LTE from WiMAX. The fact that Sprint’s still giving consideration to LTE lends credence to the thought that the switch could actually happen, Azzi said that Sprint is studying adoption rates of WiMAX on their network over the next four to six months, after which point they’ll make the decision as to whether or not to stop/slow WiMAX deployments in favor of LTE, which has proven to be faster and more capable of penetrating buildings.

Sprint’s dilemma comes as more and more networks worldwide are deploying LTE towers, including CDMA competitor Verizon. The switch would allow Sprint to continue using the same spectrums over which they currently hold rights, and would make it easier on device makers to produce 4G devices for Sprint and Verizon.

Additionally, Sprint is actively working to improve their network, launching a modernization project called Network Vision that will invest some $4 billion to $5 billion in upgrades over the next three to five years. The project will consist of Sprint phasing out the old 800MHz Nextel iDEN network in 2013 (with a push-to-talk replacement for CDMA) while they deploy new “multi-mode base stations” that will allow Sprint greater flexibility while simultaneously permitting smaller tower footprints and lower power consumption. Sprint also intends to overhaul their backend, replacing wired T1 connections with microwave transmissions or fiber.

Source: FierceWireless; Via: Engadget, PhoneDog; Thanks to Achill3s and Spreng for the tips!