Sprint has announced mid-year launch plans for its first 10 LTE markets, a reveal that comes after the carrier has been teasing the industry on the topic of LTE in recent days. Among those earlier announcements, Sprint said it had built its first LTE cluster in Kankakee, Ill., and had flipped on its first multi-modal WiMAX/LTE site in New Jersey. The company also said it would roll out at least a dozen LTE devices this year.
Now, we know where those devices will first be put to use, and perhaps surprisingly, it doesn't look like New Jersey or Kankakee--or even Sprint's home turf of Kansas City--will be involved, at least at the beginning. It appears that what Sprint has in mind is a direct attack on AT&T, with its likely first LTE markets being the key AT&T markets of Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Atlanta
You can't blame Sprint for trying to appear aggressive with its choice of initial LTE launch markets as it looks to overcome the increasing uncertainty surrounding its LTE partnership with LightSquared. However, there is no hiding the fact that Sprint is still quite late to the LTE game. Even with 10 markets, its network presence will pale in comparison to AT&T, which already has LTE in 26 markets, and especially Verizon, well ahead of the rest with 190 LTE markets in service.
- check out this FierceWireless story
Sprint confirmed its first LTE cluster last week
AT&T recently upped its LTE market count to 26