The first bell tolls for WiMax have officially started ringing, as the service is about to be stripped down by Sprint. A filing with the SEC suggests the company is planning to begin decommissioning as much as 6,000 towers by the end of 2015.
This move would effectively be the first in getting older WiMax customers over to LTE, though the transition might not be as smooth as folks are expecting. For starters, some of the WiMax towers are likely in areas where LTE currently isn’t deployed.
While Sprint could get LTE up and running in those areas by the time the hardware is taken down, there are no guarantees. This means folks might be hopped back over to Sprint’s 3G network, which has gained notoriety for its declining performance over the past few years.
Sprint outlined plans to handle customer accounts who aren’t pleased with the changes whenever it comes time to cross that bridge. You could continue service and be upgraded to an LTE-capable smartphone at no cost and no change to your service plan, or you could choose to discontinue service without the penalty of an early termination fee.
Either way, you have some options coming up if your two-year contract is still intact and you still happen to have a WiMax-enabled device. All of this should go toward helping Sprint reach 100 million pops on their Sprint Spark network upgrades (faster speeds, better building penetration and all that good stuff) by 2016’s end.
[via Fierce Wireless]