Sprint's 4G LTE Texan Triangle

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s planned Long Term Evolution (LTE) launches will give the operator's new 4G network a distinctly Texan flavor for much of 2012.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said at a Citigroup conference on Jan. 5 that the operator intends to launch four major markets by mid-year. Three of them -- Dallas, Houston and San Antonio -- are in Texas. Atlanta (the one in Georgia, not Atlanta, Texas) is the exception. (See Sprint's First 10 LTE Markets Coming by Mid-Year and Verizon Is Eating Sprint's 4G Lunch.)

Sprint intends to add six more markets "shortly thereafter," all of them close to the major cities already announced, a spokeswoman told Light Reading Mobile in an email Wednesday

[Ed note: As a reader points out the Google summary of the Sprint LTE page actually says that "Sprint will launch 4G LTE in 22 communities in the first half of 2012." We've asked Sprint for clarification on that, and they're checking it out.] This suggests that Sprint's LTE initial footprint could have a very Texan focus for at least a good part of 2012. You can see on the map below that the announced Texan markets form a triangle in the Lone Star state:

View Sprint's Texan LTE Cluster in a larger map

The operator has so far announced that three LTE devices will be available for initial users. These are the Samsung Corp. Galaxy Nexus LTE and LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) Viper smartphones, along with a "tri-network" (3G/WiMax/LTE) hot spot from Sierra Wireless Inc. (Nasdaq: SWIR; Toronto: SW). (See Sprint Unveils First 3 LTE Devices.)

Sprint hopes to largely complete its LTE rollout by the end of 2013 and to start getting LTE-Advanced markets going during that year. Analysts at Mizuho Securities USA Inc. suggest, however, that the company needs up to $3 billion to complete its LTE deployments and 3G improvements under its Network Vision strategy. (See Sprint to Launch LTE by Mid-2012, Sprint Plans LTE-Advanced Launch in 2013 and Sprint Needs $3B to Fufill Its 'Network Vision'.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:44:34 PM
re: Sprint's 4G LTE Texan Triangle

Soooo why Texas? The BBQ? The backhaul? Wonder if Sprint defines "communities" different from "markets" and if that's where the 22 v. 10 comes from.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:44:32 PM
re: Sprint's 4G LTE Texan Triangle

In most of TX there are few, if any, mountains or trees to get in the way of all the radio waves.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:44:27 PM
re: Sprint's 4G LTE Texan Triangle

Backhaul might be an issue too...

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:44:13 PM
re: Sprint's 4G LTE Texan Triangle

Austin, Denton and Fort Worth as some the markets to be launched in surrounding areas?

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