You have to feel for Sprint. Its plan for an LTE network with LightSquared went down the tubes when the FCC would not grant LightSquared the license it needs to operate. It still has a partnership with Clearwire, but the WiMAX company is struggling financially.
According to a report by Fierce Wireless, Bob Azzi, senior vice president of networks at Sprint, told attendees at the Competitive Carriers Global Expo that it plans to stop launching any additional WiMAX devices. Going forward, the carrier will only release 4G LTE devices that’ll run on its Network Vision network.
Azzi confirmed that Sprint has completed field integration tests and is deploying new multimodal equipment that’ll support LTE. The company is also in the process of re-purposing its 800Mhz spectrum, which it used for its push-to-talk IDEN service, for LTE. IDEN customers are being moved to its CDMA-based Direct Connect service instead. Sprint estimates that one-third of its IDEN sites will be shut down this year. It also expects to start selling CDMA-LTE devices by mid-year and will have 15 devices by the end of the year.