The launch of 4G in these areas marks the next step in the company's overall network strategy, known as Network Vision.
Network operator Sprint
announced that its customers in Dallas, Atlanta, Houston and San Antonio are
expected to be among the first to benefit from 4G Long-Term Evolution and
improved 3G coverage in the first half of 2012. Company CEO Dan Hesse made the
announcement Thursday at the annual Citigroup Entertainment, Media and
The launches in these
metropolitan areas mark the next step in the company's overall network
strategy, also known as Network Vision. Sprint customers can access faster data
speeds, improved 3G voice and data quality, and stronger in-building signal
penetration. Whether on a smartphone streaming video, browsing the Web with a
mobile hotspot, or making a voice call to someone across the country, all
customers in the upgraded areas are expected to have access to the company's
3G/4G LTE network.
"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, senior vice president of network for 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."
Sprint's Network Vision
platform involves the deployment of multimode base stations across many of
Sprint's cell sites throughout the country. As base stations are deployed,
customers will notice improvements in voice quality, signal density and data
speeds, the company said. The first completed deployment of a multimode base
station was in Branchburg, N.J., in December 2011. As additional areas receive
3G enhancements and 4G LTE service, announcements will be made. Another
component of the company's network strategy has been the deployment of Sprint
Direct Connect on the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) network. Sprint's
legacy in push-to-talk leadership continues with new CDMA devices that launched
in September 2011, and the company noted more CDMA push-to-talk devices would
be announced in the coming months.
In December, Sprint and
Clearwire, which provides 4G wireless broadband services, announced agreements
potentially worth up to $1.6 billion over the next four years in payments for
WiMax services, possible prepayments for LTE services and potential equity
investments. The deal modifies prior wholesale pricing agreements and provides
Sprint with unlimited access to Clearwire's WiMax network to meet its growing
4G data demands. Under the terms of the agreements, Sprint will pay Clearwire
$926 million, about two-thirds of which will be paid in 2012, for unlimited 4G
WiMax retail services during 2012 and 2013.
The agreements establish
long-term usage-based pricing for WiMax services in 2014 and beyond. Sprint
will have access to Clearwire's WiMax network through at least 2015. Sprint
plans to continue selling WiMax devices with two-year contracts through at
least 2012 and support those devices through the life of the contract.