Sprint: 4G Is in the Air for NYC
Sprint has invited Light Reading Mobile to take a "sneak peek" at the mobile WiMax-based service running in NYC next week. The operator is promising demonstrations of the 4G service in action as well as showing off some of the applications that can run on the mobile WiMax network.
Sprint is using Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR)'s network in NYC for its 4G service. The Kirkland, Wash.-based operator has been seriously prepping for deployment of its network in NYC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco for months now. (See Clearwire Preps NY & SF Markets.)
Users had already started seeing WiMax signals in NYC this summer as Clearwire said it was testing and tuning the network. Sprint has typically been launching its 4G service, which roams between Clearwire's WiMax network and Sprint's 3G cellular service, around a week after Clearwire announces that a new market is live.
A WiMax launch would be good news for the users of Sprint's Evo and Epic 4G phones. Roaming onto the WiMax network would give data downloads at averages of 3 to 6 Mbit/s, instead of the 1 Mbit/s or so offered on Sprint's 3G CDMA network.
Once the WiMax is switched on, however, Sprint will still face competition for the title of fastest data downloads in NYC from T-Mobile US Inc. . The operator has already switched on its HSPA+ upgrade in the city and says it is getting 5 to 8 Mbit/s average downloads with its initial USB data dongle offering. (See Sprint: An Epic Win?, Sprint's EVO Launch Creates Buzz & Mixed Crowds, and T-Mobile's HSPA+ Rivals Clearwire, US LTE Speeds.)
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile