As Sprint struggles to get its 4G LTE network up and running as quickly as possible, Sprint customers across the nation are getting very impatient – not only are they waiting for that fabled 4G coverage to come to their homes and workplaces, but Sprint’s 3G network is struggling more and more under the strain from record numbers of subscribers.

Luckily, Sprint has spent $200 million extra to beef up its 3G network, even though its main focus has been on expanding LTE coverage. This is good news if you’re in one of Sprint’s problem markets, but it is still a shame to see Sprint spend money on its 3G network that could have gone towards LTE.

This news also comes in the wake of Verizon’s recent announcement that it expects to have its LTE network completely finished by mid-2013. Once the carrier accomplishes this, it will be able to start the process of rolling out Voice over LTE (VoLTE), paving the way to turn CDMA off for good. But in the meantime, Sprint is still investing valuable dollars in its CDMA network.

Hopefully, as LTE expands, Sprint won’t have to worry about 3G quite as much, as more and more customers start utilizing the new network. Until then, though, it seems that this third-place carrier is between a rock and a hard place.

[Fierce Wireless | CNET]