updated 03:35 pm EDT, Tue October 25, 2011
Promises speeds 6 times faster than today's LTE
Sprint is planning on rolling out LTE-Advanced technology on its 800MHz network during the first half of 2013. Sprint's vice president of network development and engineering, Iyad Tarazi, promised the quick upgrade to the nearer-term LTE network at the 4G World conference in Chicago. Using the technology, Sprint believes it can achieve download speeds of between 12Mbps and 15Mbps in real-world conditions, which compares to what Verizon gets with its regular LTE.
LTE-Advanced was ratified as an official 4G standard last November. The certification means that the technology must achieve peak rates of 1Gbps in hotspots and 100Mbps while mobile, be fully IP-based and have the ability to switch between networks that include 4G, 3G and Wi-Fi. Early testing of the technology shows it to be six-times faster than current LTE solutions.
Tarazi in his speech also revealed that the carrier plans to release 12 LTE devices during 2012, which are presumed to include iPads and iPhones along with some level of Android hardware from favorite partners like HTC and Samsung. He also said that Sprint plans on launching an unspecified number of devices capable of running voice over LTE in the first quarter of 2013.
The company will also continue to expand its coverage for 3G smartphones, including the new Apple iPhone 4S which Sprint began selling earlier this month. Sprint currently has more than 500,000 femtocells deployed and plans on more than doubling that by the first half of 2013. [via FierceWireless]