Sprint announces 4G rollout schedule

As expected, Sprint Nextel said it will launch its 4G service at the same time Clearwire rolls out WiMAX service. Sprint will operate as an MVNO to Clearwire and offer mobile WiMAX products and services. The operator holds a 51 percent stake in Clearwire.

Sprint has said it would launch Sprint 4G service in Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Ft.Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Portland and Seattle in 2009. Sprint also said it plans to launch service in Boston, Houston, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., in 2010. All of these market deployments are in line with what Clearwire projected when it announced its buildout plans earlier this month. 

The operator said it will launch multiple 4G devices in 2009 and 2010, including a 4G data card, embedded laptops, a small-office broadband modem and a tri-mode handset. Sprint has hinted in the past that it may launch a WiMAX capable tri-mode handset in early 2010 running on Google's Android platform but that has not been confirmed.

Right now, Sprint is offering a dual-mode data card in Baltimore branded Sprint 4G. The service costs $20 more than its 3G data service.

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