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Sprint rolls out metro WiMAX to California, New York

14 июля 2010

Sprint Nextel has extended WiMAX coverage and services – branded Sprint 4G – to seven new metropolitan markets including for the first time areas of New York and California, but has not ruled out a move to LTE.

The U.S. mobile operator announced its next-generation mobile network has gone live in Rochester and Syracuse in New York; Merced and Visalia in California; Eugene in Oregon; and Tri-Cities and Yakima in Washington.

The latest metro rollouts bring the total number of markets covered by Sprint's WiMAX network up to 43, and the company said it expects to launch in several more locations – including Los Angeles and Miami – by the end of 2010.

"We are hearing a lot of positive feedback from our 4G customers who are using HTC Evo and mobile broadband connectivity," said Matt Carter, president of 4G at Sprint, in a statement.

Indeed, Sprint in June launched its first WiMAX-capable handset – the HTC-made Evo – and despite mistakenly overstating first-day sales the operator said it is experiencing robust demand for the device.

"People are hungry for faster wireless speeds, 3G/4G smartphones and unlimited data plans – and Sprint offers all of these," added Carter.

Meanwhile Sprint has once again opened the door to one day adopting LTE, as an increasing number of operators select the technology as the basis for their next-generation mobile networks.

"We have the spectrum resources where we could add LTE if we choose to do that, on top of the WiMAX network," said Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint Nextel, in a report by the Financial Times on Monday.

"The beauty of having a lot of spectrum is we have a lot of flexibility," he said.

The FT also reported that Sprint's move to LTE would make a potential merger with T-Mobile USA more plausible.

The latter's German parent Deutsche Telekom in May 2008 reportedly mulled buying Sprint Nextel and folding it into its U.S. arm, a move that at the time would have given it the largest share of the U.S. mobile market by subscribers.

Hesse said in the FT report he could see the logic to a merger between to the two companies if they were using the same mobile technology.

Источник: Total Telecom

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