If you’re not very satisfied with the level of LTE coverage you’ve seen so far on your HTC EVO 4G LTE or other Sprint LTE-enabled device, here’s why: Sprint isn’t quite finished with the LTE build out in those markets where it’s been launched. In other words, Sprint isn’t waiting for 100% of the towers to go live before launching in a specific area.
This isn’t really new information for most of us, but it does stand repeating, given the number of complaints we’ve noticed here on Pocketables, and on other tech sites.
In fact, a recent interview with Sprint’s senior vice president of networks should shed some some light on Sprint’s LTE strategy. According to Bob Azzi, “We weren’t planning to wait until we had all our cell sites covered … [but rather] when we determined that we had a sufficient footprint that enough people could find it in enough places.” Although Sprint doesn’t have a specific percentage on how much each market should be covered before launch, “We focus on street-level coverage … although it obviously has in-building coverage in there as well.”
Azzi says that customers will notice improved LTE coverage as more areas are filled in, and Sprint will continue to rapidly announce new cities as LTE coverage reaches acceptable levels for their initial deployments. He also reiterated Sprint’s promise of being largely done with the LTE roll out by the end of 2013, although he also notes, “We won’t stop until until we have a footprint that covers our CDMA cell sites.”
Sprint is also expected to have 12-15 LTE devices available by the end of 2012.
This all sounds good to me, but Sprint has got to make sure it stays on schedule. Sprint cannot afford any more screw-ups or missed deadlines as the end of 2013 approaches. I believe Sprint has what it takes to succeed in its mission and be one of the top players again, but in order to do that, it absolutely must keep its promises this time around.
[Light Reading Mobile] Thanks, Bill!