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Sprint: LTE Coming Soon to 21 New Markets
Numerous Launches, Including San Francisco, 'in the Coming Months'
by Karl Bode 04:45PM Friday Oct 12 2012 Tipped by FFH See Profile
Sprint today announced that the company is preparing to launch LTE services in an additional 21 markets "in the coming months." During the recent launch of the iPhone 5 Sprint proclaimed that they'd be launching LTE in at least a hundred more markets before the end of the year, hoping to downplay their currently skimpy LTE coverage. More attention has been brought to their small LTE footprint lately after a study proclaimed that their LTE maps are essentially totally fantasy.

Sprint's more than a little aware of their shortcomings as they scramble to catch up with LTE deployments from AT&T and Verizon. The company may have received quite a boon in terms of funding LTE deployment this week when it was revealed they're in talks to be acquired by Japanese wireless carrier SoftBank. They'd certainly fare better if they stopped saying they will be launching markets -- and actually launch some major markets.

This upcoming batch of markets is once again predominately small, though it also includes San Francisco -- or at least a few small parts of San Francisco. The full list of launch cities:
quote:
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; Cape Coral-Ft Meyers, Fla.; Dyersburg-Union City-Martin, Tenn.; Emporia, Kan.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Greenwood, Miss.; Joplin, Mo.; Kokomo, Ind., Lafayette/West Lafayette, Ind; Lexington Park, Md.; Marion, Ind.; Napa, Calif., Naples-Marco Island, Fla.; Ottawa-Streator, Ill., Punta Gorda, Fla.; Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif., Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.; Sebring, Fla., South Bend-Mishawaka, Ind.; Terre Haute, Ind.; Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.; and Warsaw, Ind.
Sprint had previously promised a significant number of major market launches (including New York, Boston and Washington DC) would arrive before the end of the year.

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Dampier
Phillip M Dampier

join:2003-03-23
Rochester, NY

Armpit, Iowa and Windblown, MO, But No Major Places

Wow... a whole lot of teeny tiny markets, but not very many major cities in that list.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Armpit, Iowa and Windblown, MO, But No Major Places

There are a lot of major markets that have partial Sprint LTE that haven't been announced yet. Chicago, NYC, Boston, DC apparently have LTE in some areas. Larger markets take longer.

LightS
Premium
join:2005-12-17
Greenville, TX
So? Nothing wrong with a smaller city getting LTE coverage. Good for the small towns. As long as they don't have another disaster like the Dallas area..
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast
I think Chicago has on the order of 1000 Sprint cell sites. Maybe more. Getting all of them up to Network Vision specs takes time, even if you're going at a decent pace.

If you're about to compare with AT&T or Verizon's LTE rollouts, don't. In both cases, the carriers are using 700MHz spectrum, which means that a market can be largely complete with 20% of the site count of PCS, albeit with less capacity overall.

Smaller communities around these big deployments benefit from Sprint's rollout though. Sprint is pushing LTE to every (okay, 99.9%) site in its network, including rural ones. AT&T and Verizon have thusfar concentrated on cities, plopping down enough LTE to cover urban areas and maybe suburbs. Rural areas might get a signal if it bleeds over.

To be honest, Sprint's LTE rollout will be slower than AT&T or Verizon or even T-Mobile's for this reason, as well as because there are a lot of Sprint sites that need new backhaul to do 4G. The same could be said of Verizon and AT&T in a fair number of cases, but those two carriers have less sites to deal with. I'd say that T-Mobile is the one to watch to see how quickly they deploy LTE, but they'll likely do so faster than Sprint because their network is newer (more hardware that's already LTE capable) and anywhere that has HSPA+ capable backhaul can do LTE over that same backhaul.

Speaking of T-Mobile, how good is their network in ROC?
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

Re: Armpit, Iowa and Windblown, MO, But No Major Places

what is ROC?
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: Armpit, Iowa and Windblown, MO, But No Major Places

Rochester. I'll periodically refer to cities by their airport codes, e.g. AUS or DEN

bbrlogue
Learning New Things Daily
Premium
join:2003-12-07
Alexandria, VA

Re: Armpit, Iowa and Windblown, MO, But No Major Places

And we all have airport codes in our heads, of course. Not to mention some, if not most, airports are miles out of the actual city.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: Armpit, Iowa and Windblown, MO, But No Major Places

Some. Not most. DEN is way the heck out there. San Antonio and Austin aren't.
NiteSn0w

join:2010-12-24
Chicago (Chicagoland / The entire Chicago market) has 1109 towers of which 593 are complete making the total percentage of towers completed ~53.47%.
ydoucare

join:2003-03-12
Lafayette, IN
Does anybody really care about T-Mobile? Sprint is deploying LTE to areas that T-Mobile doesn't even have 3G coverage at!

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Just like AT&T
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA
If you are going to make an insult, at least make a competent one. Iowa is not on that list anywhere whatsoever.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
Well if you consider that list contain pretty much all of SW Florida forom Bradenton to Naples. Those counties have a total population of 1.8 million. That's not exactly chump change.
NiteSn0w

join:2010-12-24
I suggest you take a look at this »sensorly.com/fullscreen/map/4G/U···10sprint

It shows current Sprint LTE coverage.

Ericthorn
It only hurts when I laugh
Premium
join:2001-08-10
Paragould, AR
Reviews:
·Paragould.net
·Paragould.net

Sprint, don't drop unlimited..

Greenwood, MS, pop about 15k, gets LTE, while my town, pop 26k, can't even get 4G and we're only 25 miles from a town that has it. AT&T is the only one with 4G here, and Sprint and Verizon have no plans currently to upgrade here. While I don't want to sell my soul to the devil, if Sprint raises fees in any way that's just what we'll be doing.
--
Ever try stuffing a melted marshmallow up a wildcat's ass? It can be done, but you have to like your job. - This Is The Way The World Ends by James Morrow - Join a DC club, it can't hurt you!

Tsume
Premium
join:2004-02-23
Johnson City, TN
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Sprint, don't drop unlimited..

Sprint is planning to upgrade every site (eventually) except for a small handful. No entire market is going to be skipped over, judging from their current plans.

Check out www.s4gru.com for more info.
--
to whoever anonymously gave me premium membership... thanks!

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
Sprint WILL drop unlimited eventually. They won't have a choice. No way their network can handle tens of millions of people on 4G using hundreds of GB a month

No Limit
Just Say No To Social Promotion

join:2000-10-07
Katy, TX

San Francisco

maybe I might finally make the jump to an Galaxy S3 when they finally get LTE up and running in San Francisco. Until then, my Motorola Photon pulls a WiMax signal just fine.

JigglyWiggly

join:2009-07-12
Pleasanton, CA

Re: San Francisco

Feels like they're rolling out faster than at&t.
No LTE in Merced california =/
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

how fast is Sprint's lte where it is?

in comparison to AT&T or VZ? It must be faster than T-Mobile.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast

Re: how fast is Sprint's lte where it is?

With good signal strength on an unloaded network, 30+ Mbps down and 10+ Mbps up (I've seen 32M down, 12M up and 30ms latency in Fort Worth). Realistic speeds with good signal and a loaded network will be 10-20 Mbps down and 5Mbps up or so. Sprint advertises 6-8 Mbps down, 2-3 Mbps up.

I live practically under a Sprint cell site now (maybe 1000 feet away from a rooftop Sprint site to the north, and 1000 feet away from a Clearwire site to the east), so I'm guessing that my speeds will be in the 20-30 Mbps range down and 5-15 Mbps up once that site gets upgraded (and things should stay that way for awhile). By contrast, my VZW iPad now hovers in the 9-11 Mbps range down, with 10-18 Mbps up due to wider channels and asymmetric usage patterns. T-Mobile, last I checked, is EDGE-only in my apartment, but gets around 17 Mbps down, 3 Mbps up a couple hundred feet away, though they may have overlaid my serving cell with PCS H+ since I tested last so coverage may be better.

Short answer: Sprint won't have the top speed of AT&T or Verizon in markets where they have 10x10 LTE markets (every one for Verizon, a fair number for AT&T). Nor will it beat T-Mobile LTE when that comes out (TMo will be 10x100 now, 20x20 later). However Sprint will beat out T-Mobile DC-HSPA+ in half the spectrum, and as AT&T and Verizon get loaded down (particularly in 5x5 LTE markets for AT&T) Sprint's speeds will maintain consistency.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: how fast is Sprint's lte where it is?

said by iansltx:

Short answer: Sprint won't have the top speed of AT&T or Verizon in markets where they have 10x10 LTE markets (every one for Verizon, a fair number for AT&T).

However Sprint has half the users and higher density of sites in some areas so may be about same avg performance when LTE use exceeds 3G. And Sprint will be adding more spectrum later so wont have major capacity issues as usage ramps up.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast

Re: how fast is Sprint's lte where it is?

Yep. Another nice thing about Sprint's network is their current crop of LTE phones supports PCS A-G for LTE, so as Sprint sees more traffic go to LTE in a given area (away from 3G), they can smoothly transition things and every single LTE phone will benefit. In contrast, most (all?) Verizon smartphones don't have LTE in PCS or CLR...or, heck, AWS at this point.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17
Some of my tests... >20Mbps at times but a smartphone only needs a few Mbps. The low latency matters more after a few Mbps.

»dl.dropbox.com/u/3812896/Pics/An···tlte.png
tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2
I have TM, friend has Sprint 4G (WiMax). In areas with good coverage I pull around 17Mb/1Mb. He pulls around 6Mb down (I do'nt know what his up is). His coverage is about the same in the state of UT as mine. Truth is, HSPA+ dwarfs WiMax speeds... but of course, that is always subject to coverage. So it's always going to be a YMMV.
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

Sprint

How is this company still around? I thought they would fade away like Nextel.

fiber_man
Things Happen For A Reason
Premium
join:2001-01-27
Port Saint Lucie, FL

Re: Sprint/ Nextel

It is amazing that all of the Nextel equipment at most of the sites around here is still in place and working. With Sprint equipment working at the same cell site. AT&T is placing new towers around here with fiber going up the tower to the antennas which is a first for any company that I have seen.

Most of the sites around here have fiber backhaul to the C.O.'s. It is up to the carriers what they do with it.
--
GO NOLES!!
big_e

join:2011-03-05

Re: Sprint/ Nextel

Every carrier except Sprint that is. Sprint's terrible 3g performance in many areas is largely due to the fact they are still using T1 technology for most of their sites instead of fiber. Network vision will give them a wireless back haul between sites as cheap fix.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

Re: Sprint

Uh,

Nextel didn't fade away, they were acquired by Sprint ( poorly executed).
Keefer21

join:2012-07-06
Hilton, NY
Nextel didnt fade away.. Sprint bought the majority share of Nextel and they disastrously merged. if Sprint hadn't im sure Nextel would have sought someone to help them pony up the cash for upgrades or completely get out of the market. IDEN 800MHZ is only 2G and even around the time of the merger they already were feeling the pain of their slow data. My Nextel Blackberry curve was so painfully slow i almost cut my wrists a few times.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Sprint

Did anyone honestly think iDen had a future?

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

21 markets in coming months?

meanwhile Verizon rolls out at least 21 markets EVERY month.
NiteSn0w

join:2010-12-24

Re: 21 markets in coming months?

They only have to put LTE on a fraction of their cell sites because they use 700MHz this means lower capacity for the network overall.

jbb1234

@rr.com

la lte

Well, i can tell you the LA has some activity. i have seen lte show up on my phone the last couple of days. So, it feels like they are testing and preping the cell towers. i noticed it in downtown, the valley, and west hollywood.

Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1

Oh yeaaaaaaaaaa

Ft Myers baby! To bad I have had LTE for months with Verizon

•••
ALargeCat

join:2011-09-27

Already live

I live in the area covered by Vallejo - Fairfield and have already found a live LTE tower near my home. Hopefully this marks the start of a quicker roll out by Sprint.

GlobalMind
Domino Dude, POWER Systems Guy
Premium
join:2001-10-29
Hollywood, FL

Speed the heck up!

They need to ramp it up before I jump ship. Any new device is useless on 3G for anything other than mail and calendar sync, and maybe something like Twitter.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Speed the heck up!

Sprint might get a massive investment to do just that...

»www.cnbc.com/id/49408877

GlobalMind
Domino Dude, POWER Systems Guy
Premium
join:2001-10-29
Hollywood, FL

Re: Speed the heck up!

Yep saw that...but will believe it when I see it. : )

Concerned

@rr.com

What A Waste

My company just extended our contracts with over 250 employees each being upgraded to Galaxy 3's on Sprint. Yet the service is great where it doesn't matter (near Niagara Falls). Southern Tier of NY needs major service updates. 10 years ago top notch. Now Junk, lose service in just about everywhere as does everyone else who has them, Samsung should be ashamed they even let Sprint use them. Good thing I still have my own personal phone which is a Droid X and on Verizon. Sprint is a joke and will this new company that just bought 70% do anything to the places that matter?