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4G/3G/WiFi

Sprint: First LTE Site Is 'Up & Running'

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) said Monday afternoon that its first "Network Vision" site supporting Long Term Evolution (LTE) is now live.

"We have our first LTE site up and running," Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer said at a UBS Investment Bank conference in New York City. He said that the multi-mode base station is supporting both LTE and CDMA. (See Sprint to Launch LTE by Mid-2012.)

Sprint has promised to start offering LTE services on its revamped network starting in mid-2012, and Euteneuer said LTE handsets will come to market in the last half of 2012. (See Sprint Promises LTE Devices in Early 2012.)

The CFO claimed that the initial LTE services will compete effectively with LTE services from AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless . "I think it'll be very competitive with what's already out in the marketplace," he told the crowd.

The operator is looking to Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR)'s TD-LTE and LTE-Advanced for more capacity in the future. Sprint plans to start upgrading its network to the faster LTE-Advanced technology in the first half of 2013. (See Sprint Plans LTE-Advanced Launch in 2013.) Sprint also just cut a new deal with Clearwire for WiMax and LTE last week. "From my cash-flow point of view, I've got $600 million going to Clearwire in 2012 and $300 million in 2013," Euteneuer added. (See Sprint Keeps Clearwire (& Unlimited) Alive.)

The Clearwire LTE rollout won't initially cover all of the company's WiMax network, which is most heavily used by Sprint subscribers. "It's very, very targeted for the areas where we know we’re getting high demand," the CFO explained.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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