Sprint confirms move to LTE

US carrier Sprint has announced plans to begin offering LTE services on its 1900MHz spectrum by mid-2012. The company said it will cover more than 250 million people across the US when the network build-out is completed, which is expected by the end of 2013.

The operator plans to launch dual mode CDMA/LTE devices by mid-2012, with approximately 15 devices—including handsets, tablets and data cards—set to hit shelves throughout the year. The CDMA/WiMAX devices that Sprint currently offers, such as the Nexus S 4G, will continue to be sold throughout 2012.

Sprint also announced plans to accelerate the deployment of Network Vision; its plan to consolidate its multiple network technologies into one network to increasing efficiency, network coverage and data speeds for its customers.

The company said it had concluded trials of its multimode technology and is on course to complete its deployment by the end of 2013 – two years sooner than originally scheduled. Network Vision could cost up to $5bn but is expected to deliver $10bn to $11bn in net economic value to the company between 2011 and 2017.

“Over the long term, continued execution on Network Vision as well as other improvements to our core operations are expected to result in overall margin expansion, improved return on invested capital, and, ultimately, increased value for our shareholders,” said Joseph Euteneuer, chief financial officer at Sprint.

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