MWC 2011: Sprint's LTE D-Day Next Month?

7:50 AM -- BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2011 -- The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) , the standards body behind Long Term Evolution (LTE), is holding its next set of meetings March 15–23 in Kansas City, home of BBQ, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), the Reedys and many fountains.

There's only one of these fun facts the 3GPP cares about.

The 3GPP meeting could be the perfect setting for Sprint to drop its LTE bombshell. Considering LTE updates from U.S. operators were thin on the ground in Barcelona this week, the wireless operators may be saving their big guns for the more U.S.-centric CTIA next month in Orlando. If Sprint announces it will move to LTE at the 3GPP meeting just one week before, CTIA would be the perfect place to elaborate.

Sprint SVP of Networks Bob Azzi told Light Reading Mobile Tuesday that LTE is still on the table as it mulls its options with Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) too, but it could be five to six months before it has to announce if it will move to LTE. (See MWC 2011: Sprint Plotting LTE in 2012 or 2013?)

The consensus, however, is that it's more of a when scenario, and I'm thinking a pre-CTIA announcement from Sprint's hometown would be a nice option.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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