Yes, that little yellow dot is Sprint’s current LTE coverage, perched over the small town of Kankakee, Illinois, a stone’s throw from Chicago. While the site exists for testing purposes for a network that won’t even start to roll out in earnest until next year, it’s a harrowing reminder that Sprint is way behind the competition in rolling out next-generation cellular tech, even if the other guys are fumbling a little.
The truth is that Sprint wishes that its WiMax technology, which started rolling out a year and a half ago in their current 4G-branded phones, had actually taken off. I paid $10 extra monthly for the access when I had my Epic 4G on the service, but never once actually used it. WiMax doesn’t have the throughput that LTE does, but Sprint had the advantage of being on the market for nearly a year as the competition put their money behind the competing standard. Sprint finally acknowledge that their money was on the wrong horse, but the nation’s third-largest carrier seems to have devolved into a ‘chasing the Joneses’ strategy. First with (finally) getting the iPhone, and now with this. While they broke some ground by coming out with great Android phones last year like the Evo and the Epic, Verizon seems to have swallowed that advantage as well.
Sprint will continue to support WiMax through 2015 as a parting gift, but who’s going to keep a WiMax phone until 2015? Thankfully, that AT&T/T-Mobile merger didn’t go through, so at least they’re not in last place…
Source: The Verge