Sprint Nabs Its First Moto Phone for LTE

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is getting its first 4G Motorola Mobility LLC smartphone ahead of the launch of four more Long Term Evolution (LTE) markets in two weeks' time.

The $200 Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE sports a 4.3-inch display and a slide-out qwerty keyboard. It has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) operating system and an eight-megapixel camera.

Here's an intro video on the phone's features from Motorola Mobility:

Sprint is continuing to deploy LTE on its network, saying it will launch the faster data service in four new towns and cities by Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3, 2012. The LTE network offers average downloads of 6 to 8 Mbit/s. Uploads clock in at 2 to 3 Mbit/s on average.

The Sprint LTE new markets include Baltimore; Gainesville, Ga.; Manhattan/Junction City, Kan.; and Sherman-Denison, Texas. See how the operator's 4G map will look on Labor Day 2012 below:

View Sprint 4G LTE Markets in a larger map

Why this matters
Sprint is trying to build out LTE coverage as quickly as it can to compete with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless , switching on street-level coverage as soon as it is deemed useful for users. Motorola Mobility, meanwhile, needs a 4G hit to soothe its bruised bottom line.

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— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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