Sprint 4G WiMax Now Covering Denver, Bridgeport, Conn.
In time for holiday 4G smartphone giving, Denver and Bridgeport,
Conn., are the newest cities to be blanketed by Sprint's 4G network.
Based on WiMAX technology from Clearwire, the wireless service, says
Sprint, now offers these cities download speeds that are up to 10 times
faster than its 3G service.
"Sprint is the leader in providing 4G service, and we're proud to extend our advanced mobile broadband network to two more cities today," Matt Carter, president of Sprint 4G, said in a statement. "Sprint is the first national wireless carrier to make 4G a reality for our customers, and now Sprint 4G is available in 70 markets across the country. We are delivering on the promise of 4G to meet the demand from our customers."
Among those 70 markets are Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York City, Las Vegas and Philadelphia. Additionally joining the list on Dec. 28 will be San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Silicon Valley and other Bay Area cities.
In a YouTube video talking up its new network and coming San Francisco launch, "Michael from Sprint" compares 4G to a highway, with users being cars on the road. "Sprint has excess spectrum capacity to accommodate more lanes than previous technologies like 3G, so we can handle more data traffic," he says. "Think about it: Would you rather be on an eight-lane superhighway, or a two-lane road with the same amount of traffic?"
On Dec. 5, competitor Verizon rolled out its own superhighway based on LTE (long-term evolution) technology. With Verizon execs calling it "just the beginning," at launch, the network covered 38 cities and 60 commercial airports - or, it made a good try, at any rate. Customer reports following the launch complained of problems in the handoff between 3G and 4G. Verizon spokesperson Jeffrey Nelson confirmed to PCMag that some users were experiencing "delays of up to two minutes" when switching between 3G coverage areas and Verizon's LTE footprint.
With its LTE rollout, Verizon launched two USB 4G modems - the Pantech UML290 and the LG Electronics VL600. Sprint offers customers access to its 4G network with the Samsung Epic 4G smartphone and the HTC Evo 4G, while T-Mobile introduced its HSPA+ 4G network in early November with the launch of the myTouch 4G smartphone and Dell Inspiron Mini 10 4G netbook.
AT&T, the final top-four U.S. carrier, has plans to offer an LTE-based 4G network in 2011. Toward this end, it announced Dec. 20 that it had entered an agreement with Qualcomm to purchase spectrum that will help it bolster its ability to "provide an advanced 4G mobile broadband experience for its customers in the years ahead."
In a list of predictions for 2011, research firm Yankee Group wrote that 4G will have an enormous impact - just not next year. By the end of 2011, less than 25 percent of North American consumers are expected to understand what 4G means. "Beyond 2011, however," it said in the December report, "the 4G market will ramp up steadily."