Sprint may be announcing the launch of 4G LTE services in over 20 new markets on Friday, if a leaked memo proves to be accurate, reports C/Net.
According to details obtained by Phone Arena, LTE speeds will soon arrive in 21 markets spread across ten states. Here’s the list of markets where Sprint will be offering LTE service as of April 12:
- California: Los Angeles, Contra Costa County
- Florida: Palm Bay, Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach
- Indiana: Bloomington and Lafayette
- Illinois: Rochelle
- Minnesota: Mankato-North Mankato
- Missouri: Joplin
- North Carolina: Charlotte, Shelby, Albemarle, Sailsbury, Lincolnton
- Tennessee: Memphis, Greenville, Tullahoma
- Texas: Denison, Kerrville
- Virginia: Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News
Sprint’s FD-LTE service trails AT&T and Verizon by a large margin and uses less bandwidth (two 5 MHz channels on the PCS band). Sprint has switched on its FD-LTE network and claims some 67 current LTE markets, and plans to launch in over 100 new markets as 2013 progresses.
Sprint uses an earlier release of LTE in the 58 markets it currently covers using it’s FD-LTE technology (5 MHz x 5 MHz) in the PCS band, but it will be upgraded to LTE-A in the first half of 2013, according to Sprint’s CTO (above).
Meanwhile, Clearwire’s TD-LTE service on the 2.6 GHz band is still under wraps.
T-Mobile USA is currently deploying Ericsson’s AIR 21 product which offers a fast-track way of getting LTE into the marketplace.
Ericsson’s latest offering in the family is the AIR 32, which allows operators to add LTE or HSPA(+) without deploying additional antennas or remote radio heads (RRHs) on cell sites. According to Ericsson, the new model claims up to 70% higher throughput than its predecessors by implementing 4×4 MIMO antenna arrays, and up to 25% better indoor coverage. It supports multiple active frequencies, reducing radio equipment by 50%.