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Wireless Networking Cellphones Communications

Sprint Details Shift To LTE 183

New submitter jmeboi writes "Engadget reports that Sprint has announced a rollover from WiMAX to LTE for its 4G needs. The company is 'converting its 1900MHz holdings and LightSquared's 1600MHz spectrum ("pending FCC approval") to LTE,' and also re-purposing the section of 800MHz spectrum that was set aside for the defunct iDEN push-to-talk network. 'The company plans for a rapid deployment of this new 4G, with the first LTE markets and handsets to hit in mid-2012 with the full rollout mostly completed by 2013. Current subscribers signed up for WiMAX plans won't have to worry, as their devices will continue to be supported throughout 2012.'"
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Sprint Details Shift To LTE

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  • by generalhavok ( 1432165 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @01:00PM (#37640752)
    I'm excited with the developments in LTE, because it's nice to see that all carriers in the USA will eventually be supporting the same standard. For far too long in the states we've had so much confusion and complication because of CDMA vs GSM. I'm glad that the CDMA carriers (Verizon and Sprint) are finally upgrading to a better standard.

    I'm dreaming of a future where the USA will be like the rest of the world, where we'll be able to buy an unlocked phone, and use it on any carrier we chose. I'm currently using an unlocked phone, but my choice in carriers is limited to just AT&T (being as T-Mobile doesn't cover here). It's still cheaper, if you buy an unlocked phone, and then get a prepaid SIM card. Life would be so much simpler if all the carriers supported one standard, and an LTE phone would work with any network.

    It might be Apple that pushes us to this point. As they've repeatadly shown, they prefer to only build one model of phone. The iPhone finally got a CDMA variant last year, but this year, it's all one model again, because they found a chip that supports both CDMA and GSM, as well as all 3g frequencies. Apple wants to build an LTE phone, and all carriers want to have it, and Apple will not want to build two different LTE phones. Meaning we'll get one LTE phone, and as LTE is backwards compatible with GSM, it requires a SIM card. When they do that, and other manufactures start doing it, we'll see an era where it might just be possible to buy an unlocked phone in the USA, and be able to buy a SIM card from any network you want to use.

    This is my dream, but I'm thinking there has to be a catch. Why would the carriers want this kind of arrangement? They want to be able to lock people in, because they don't want to compete based just on who has the best service / price. But maybe, this is just an inconvenient fact for them, as the rest of the world moved on and developed standards, and in our global world, it just doesn't make sense to have your own proprietary standards anymore. CDMA is dying, and now so is WiMax. Both standards were only used by a few carriers, manufacturing phones and equipment to support them was more expensive just based on economies of scale, and they were unfriendly for the consumer. GSM is vastly more consumer friendly than CDMA, in terms of convenience and customer choice.

    So, does the USA finally enter the 21st century, and have mobile phone systems that don't confuse the rest of the world?

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain