Rumor Mill: Sprint's Boost, Virgin to launch LTE smartphones in Q1 2013

Sprint Nextel's (NYSE:S) Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile brands will launch the carrier's first prepaid LTE smartphones in the first quarter of 2013, according to various blog and Twitter postings.

samsung galaxy victory sprint prepaid virgin mobile

The LTE-capable Samsung Galaxy Victory could be sold by Sprint's Virgin Mobile in a prepaid model next year.

The reports, which are based on information posted on the @evleaks Twitter feed, indicate that Boost will launch the ZTE-made Force (codenamed Aurora) as well as the HTC One SV, while Virgin will launch the Samsung Galaxy Victory. The Twitter feed has been known in the past as a source of accurate information about leaks of phone specifications and announcements.

A Sprint spokeswoman declined to comment.

Both prepaid brands started offering smartphones earlier this spring running on Clearwire's (NASDAQ:CLWR) mobile WiMAX network, and currently sell the Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC Evo Design. A move to LTE smartphones would fit with Sprint's overall strategy of continuing to support WiMAX devices while transitioning to its burgeoning LTE network as its primary "4G" network.

The reports did not indicate when the prepaid brands would launch the devices or how much they would cost. All three of the smartphones are midrange devices in terms of specifications. Sprint expects to cover around 120 million POPs with its LTE network by year-end and then expand the network throughout 2013 to cover 250 million POPs by the end of next year.

Already, Sprint MVNO Ting sells LTE smartphones in a prepaid model.

For more:
- see this Twitter post
- see this Unwired View post
- see this Android Authority post

Related Articles:
Sprint's Boost begins marketing prepaid WiMAX product
Boost, Virgin intro prepaid WiMAX via HTC Evo smartphones
Sprint adds 1.5M iPhones in Q1, will bring WiMAX to prepaid brands
Rumor Mill: Sprint's Boost and Virgin units to offer WiMAX