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Sprint Now Says No LTE Gear Until Second Half of 2012

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Dec 5, 2011, 7:52 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper
updated Dec 5, 2011, 8:28 PM

Sprint will not debut any Long Term Evolution 4G end-user equipment until some time during the second half of 2012, said the company's chief financial officer, Joseph Euteneuer, in a webcast today. The company had previously said that devices would ship closer to the middle of 2012. Euteneuer was sure to say that the delay in LTE-equipped products, such as smartphones and mobile hotspots, has nothing to do with the timeliness of the LTE network launch itself. Euteneuer also noted that the company has deployed its first multi-modal base station (part of the Network Vision project), which will be able to handle Sprint's various network technologies and spectrum allotments. Euteneuer provided some clarification on Sprint's recently announced deal with Clearwire. Sprint will make payments to Clearwire if it reaches certain LTE build-out goals over the next few years. According to Euteneuer, Clearwire's goals only include regions of the country seeing the highest demand for mobile broadband services. "We are asking them to build out initially to only a portion of what they cover," he said. "It is not the full network that they have to date." Sprint is in the middle of a wide-reaching network transition across technologies and spectrum that will last until well into 2013 before it is complete.

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