The announcement comes on the heels of Sprint’s plan to open its first retail outlet in Carrollton on Highway 27 South, near Home Depot.
“Our Carrollton store is slated to open in the mid- to late-fourth quarter of the year,” said Jeff Bennett, a regional vice-president of consumer sales with Sprint. “We’re hoping to have it open before December and the holiday season.”
In the meantime, Sprint has contracts with some of the “big box” retail outlets that sell Sprint products, “although they don’t carry the full breadth of our portfolio,” Bennett said.
“With Sprint 4G LTE, customers with LTE devices will experience faster data speeds,” said Kristin Wallace, manager of corporate communications in Atlanta. “They will be able to download and send documents and pictures faster, watch YouTube video without delays or buffering, and send large e-mails quickly.”
Wallace said social networking and sharing pictures and making mobile purchases will be easier and much faster with the new 4G LTE service.
“And, for customers who enjoy playing games on their devices, they will find the experience even richer.”
“Customers will see more robust service and fewer dropped calls,” Bennett said. “It will have enhanced voice quality, with not as much garbled speech.”
Wallace said the Carrollton service area will also include Temple and Villa Rica.
Some of the 4G LTE devices which will work on the new network include the HTC EVO, LG Viper, Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy SIII. Wallace noted that phones must have the 4G LTE chip in order to use the new network capabilities.
The Georgia cities involved in the launch, in addition to Carrollton, include Atlanta, Athens, Calhoun, Newnan and Rome. The other U.S. cities include those around Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston and San Antonio in Texas and the Kansas City area.
Sprint said it is building an all-new nationwide 3G and 4G LTE network, which will couple speed with unlimited data plans for smartphones and other wireless devices. Its Any Mobile, Anytime package includes unlimited data, texting and calling to and from any mobile phone in America, while on Sprint’s network, starting at $79.99 per month for smartphones, excluding taxes and surcharges.
Sprint has offered 4G service since 2008, but its previous 4G networks ran on older and slower technologies, WiMax and HSPA. The newer LTE networks are advertised to be as much as 10 times faster than 3G, with high speeds of 75 megabytes per second and 300 mbps for downloads.
Sprint plans to launch additional 4G LTE markets in the second half of 2012, which will be announced later this year. By the end of 2013, Sprint expects to have largely completed building its nationwide 4G LTE network, covering 250 million people across the United States.
For detailed 4G LTE maps, which provide coverage information down to a street address, can be found at www.sprint.com/coverage. Customers are asked to check often since the maps will be updated as the coverage is enhanced.
In telecommunications, 4G is the fourth generation of cell phone mobile communications standards. It is a successor of the third generation (3G) standards. A 4G system provides mobile ultra-broadband Internet access, for example to laptops with USB wireless modems, to smartphones, and to other mobile devices. LTE is an acronym for Long Term Evolution, a more advanced 4G standard. Many newer Android-based smartphones are 4G LTE capable and both iPhone 5 and iPad 3 are expected to have built-in 4G LTE capability by the second half of this year.
At the end of 2011, the Sprint wireless network served more than 55 million end users, giving Sprint Nextel about half the subscribers of either of its two larger rivals, AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless, with over 100 million subscribers each.
Sprint Nextel’s headquarters are located in Overland Park, Kansas. Dan Hesse is the President and C.E.O.
Prior to 2005, the company was known as Sprint Corporation. The company took its current name, Sprint Nextel Corporation, when it merged with Nextel Communications that year.
Sprint is a tier 1 global Internet access service provider and Sprint Nextel is the United States’ third largest long distance provider by subscribers.