U.S. mobile operator says announcements to be made soon; aims to reuse 800-MHz iDEN spectrum.
Sprint has given the strongest indications to date about adopting LTE to power its high-speed mobile network.
"There is a high likelihood that LTE is in our future in one flavour or another," said Geoff Martin, who heads up the U.S. operator's M2M collaboration centre in Silicon Valley, on Monday.
"Announcements will be made soon," he declared, without giving a specific date.
Sprint has until now used WiMAX technology as the basis for its next-generation mobile network, but with LTE adoption more prevalent among the world's mobile operators the ecosystem for WiMAX is likely to be limited by comparison.
"We don't want to be an island," said Martin.
A switch to LTE would bring Sprint in line with its rivals, and Martin said it plans to reuse the frequencies currently utilised by its iDEN network.
"Sprint has been sitting on 14 MHz of contiguous 800-MHz spectrum, which is really valuable, really powerful, and using it for a 1.5 [generation] push-to-talk network," he said.
Indeed, Sprint is operating three different radio networks â€“ CDMA, iDEN and the aforementioned WiMAX.
"Operating three separate networks is hugely expensive," said Martin, who commented that consolidating its infrastructure will one day enable it to reduce its number of base stations by between 30% and 40%.
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