Sprint Reportedly Discussing 4G LTE Infrastructure Deal with LightSquared


If a report by Bloomberg turns out to be true, Clearwire may have good reason to begin worrying about their current network partnership with Sprint. As has already been speculated, with Sprint being just about the only carrier to back WiMAX as their 4G technology, a shift to LTE may not be out of the question. In fact, it is looking more likely than ever.

Sprint is reportedly in negotiations with LightSquared, a company that is currently repurposing satellite spectrum for earth-bound LTE use to deal out in a wholesale capacity. While questions remain about GPS interference and how such problems could delay LightSquared’s efforts, getting a national partner and hardware seller to back their network could be just the investment they need to get it rolling in earnest.

How Clearwire would eventually play into the dealings is unclear. We are sure Sprint wouldn’t abandon WiMAX altogether at first, but once their would-be LTE network is widespread, we wouldn’t be surprised if Clearwire gets the axe.

[via Engadget]

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  1. Wow, its looking a bit more clear as to why they included the “premium data” charge to all smartphones. They don’t want people complaining about having 4G anymore when they give Wimax the boot.

  2. If Sprint can do anything to make their signal capable of penetrating anything thicker than tracing paper (what’s that?), it’d be a miracle. Sprint’s 3G and 4G signals both suck a big one here in NYC.

  3. i feel like this story has been done every day over the past two weeks…still thankful for it

  4. I think this is a step in the right direction. I have been extremely happy with their service here in the MedWest though, so I can’t complain. We don’t have LTE but I honestly don’t care. 3G speeds are always great. My only judgement of WiMaz comes from what I have heard, and I haven’t heard good things, so, at the very least, this will improve public perception.

  5. Please Sprint haven’t you learned? Don’t deal with ‘another’ network startup company. First Clearwire and now these guys? Sounds like it’ll take forever like Clearwire!

  6. I’m sorry guys but it just doesn’t make sense at all for Sprint to dump clearwire, they own over 50% of clearwire that would pretty much put their investment in the crapper, now I could see clearwire converting to LTE on their equipment since the upgrade for them would be just as easy as Sprint.

  7. @John Clavis… Not sure where you are in Newyork but my signal for 4G has been great here in manhattan since they flipped the switch in November. The Bronx has had 4G since August 2010 and my handset SCREAMS so fast… EVO RULES

  8. sprint said from the start that they would possible switch to LTE even before Wimax was released. so this shouldnt be a surprise to anyone. More than likely sprint knew they was gonna switch eventually. they probably just wanted to be first with 4g and get their subscriber count up some. Satellite based LTE sounds like a great way to go. it cant be any worse than the wi max is now. and it should get much better coverage area. im sure they will keep clear and still use the wimax towers as well. the only problem i see with the new company and their tech is the will it penetrate buildings? thats gonna be the big question.

  9. LightSquared’s towers will take out GPS, anywhere from 0.6 miles to over 5, depending on the device:

    We use GPS a lot where I work, and this has us very worried…

  10. Satellites = Large coverage area + Blazing fast 4G. Glad I’m with Sprint :)

  11. Does this mean new phones will still be wimax or LTE? It sounds like Sprint is going to be behind again till they get this LTE squared away. Not too happy about that. Maybe this is why they haven’t announced any new handset since they aren’t sure which direction this will take them.

  12. I’m starting to get impatient… I want to see nice dual-core; Tegra 2 or Tegra 2 classed; plenty of ram, expandable storage, and support for as many frequencies as possible; and not on version nor on ‘AT&T’. It would be wonderful if it weren’t more expensive than a high end net top combined with a relatively CHEEP burner phone (off contract).

    I know I’m hoping for a lot, but I’m starting to think they aren’t going to release one by the time I’ll really want those data services.

  13. How is Sprint behind when they have been playing the 4G game longer than any other carrier? Everyone else is trying to catch up is more like it.

  14. Whatever needs to be done i hope they just do it and lets move on. There are to many things that need to be done in this race to produce android devices… They better start GETTING BUSY

  15. Re: SIGINT <=== 3G/4G whatever. I love Sprint but if you do not acknowledge that (overall) Sprint is behind Verizon at this point, I don't know what more you'd need. I do NOT want to switch but they (Sprint) assumed the Rick Marshall Phase 2 position this entire Winter…meanwhile, Verizon was hauling the mail.

  16. It’s about Mbps not whatever “G” a carrier chooses to call itself. According to the ITU, every carrier can claim 4G. Whatever. TMO has been the fastest Mbps, with their higher end phones.

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