Today Sprint announced the initial group of LTE devices – the Sprint Galaxy Nexus, boasting a pure Google experience, the LG Viper 4G LTE with eco-friendly features, and the Sierra Wireless Tri-Network Hotspot, with 3G, 4G and 4G LTE backhaul. Sprint will be selling the mobile hotspot with a standard 3,600mAh battery, which means that it should last all day. Full product specifications, pricing and availability will be shared closer to each device’s launch date.
Sprint’s Network Vision will consolidate multiple network technologies into one seamless solution. Sprint’s first LTE service will happen on unused PCS frequencies (1.9 GHz). At a later time, LTE will also be available on their Nextel frequencies at 850 MHz, or on the 2.6GHz band (with TD-LTE). First, however, Nextel users must be converted into using push to talk CDMA-based phones. The next step for 850 MHz would then be FD-LTE.
Approximately 15 4G LTE devices are currently on track to be launched in 2012 including handsets, tablets and data cards. Current 4G devices – using WiMax – will continue to be sold in 2012, including the HTC EVO Design 4G, Samsung Epic 4G Touch and Nexus S 4G.
The new LTE Galaxy Nexus features Android 4.0 (ICE). Ice Cream Sandwich introduces features such as Face Unlock, which uses facial recognition to unlock your phone, an NFC (Near Field Communications) chip, Android Beam so users to quickly share web pages, apps and YouTube videos by simply tapping phones together. Users can even video chat with up to 10 friends with Google+ Hangouts for mobile.
Google comfirmed that the Sprint Galaxy Nexus with Google Wallet, is coming to Sprint. Leaked ads last week indicated that the Sprint version of the device would sport a 1.5GHz processor, opposed to the 1.2GHz currently running in Verizon’s variant.
On Jan. 5, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse announced that customers in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio are expected to be among the first to benefit from 4G LTE and improved 3G coverage in the first half of 2012. Additional areas that will receive 3G enhancements and 4G LTE expansion in 2012 will be announced later in the year.
The new 4G LTE smartphones will benefit from Sprint Everything plans, offering unlimited data, texting and calling to and from any mobile phone in America while on the Sprint Network.