This year is a big one for Sprint. It all started with the launch of the Overdrive 4G, a mobile hotspot, during CES and then the HTC EVO 4G, which is hitting stores across the country tomorrow. And that’s not all; Sprint is also deploying 4G networks across the nation while competing carriers haven’t even begun offering LTE speeds to customers. But all this is apparently not enough for Sprint. A quick phone call with Caroline Semerdjian, Sprint Public Relations, revealed some interesting new developments.
Another 4G Device
While most would expect Sprint to focus their efforts on the tomorrow’s launch of the HTC EVO 4G, the representative dropped details regarding the company’s preparation for “another 4G device” which she said was “coming very soon.” While I didn’t manage to get any further details, it appropriately coincides with next week’s launch of the fourth generation iPhone. Steve Job is taking the stage next Monday (June 7th) at 10AM. While most reports indicate that a Verizon Wireless version is unlikely candidate for the upcoming iPhone 4G, we do know that a CDMA version is in the works. The only other potential CDMA carrier is Sprint. Another reason for Sprint? Video Calls. While AT&T finally allowed Skype-based VoIP calls over their 3G network this week, it’s unlikely that the carrier’s network would be able to support bandwidth intensive two-way video. Sprint’s 4G network, however, can.
San Francisco Gets 4G
Although Sprint announced their intention to deploy 4G in San Francisco and 14 new cities this year, they never clarified a specific date. Sprint’s PR representative indicated that the launch was imminent. It would be within “the next few months” at the latest, likely before their Sprint Open Developer Conference in October at the Santa Clara Convention Center. As AT&T’s network has become synonymous with reliability issues in major metropolitan areas like San Francisco and New York, rolling out a faster network would easily help Sprint attract dissatisfied customers. And if there’s any chance that the fourth generation iPhone sports 4G, it would be a gamer changer. Just imagine placing a call on an iPhone without worrying about it getting dropped.
What does it mean?
Even if Apple’s fourth generation iPhone is a gift from heaven and it never leaves AT&T, it’s still a great time for Sprint subscribers. While both AT&T and Verizon Wireless are still enraging customers by driving up Early Termination Fees and dropping unlimited data plans in favor of a tiered system, Sprint hasn’t. As the company hopes to pave their way out of losses, Sprint is trying their best to attract customers in any way possible. Sprint’s Everything Data plans include unlimited data, unlimited texting, and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling to any network for about $20 less than a comparable plan on AT&T or Verizon. As for what we now know, another 4G device is in the pipeline and San Francisco residents will have 4G coverage very soon.