updated 12:18 pm EST, Mon February 18, 2013
Areas being enabled without official announcements from Sprint
Sprint is enabling its 4G LTE network in areas, without officially announcing a market as "live." Areas including New York City, Washington D.C., and San Francisco are finding some locations are getting 4G LTE service, though not a blanket coverage of entire areas as usually associated with normal network rollouts.
First spotted by Engadget, the carrier has created "pockets of LTE" in Potrero Hill and SoMa in San Francisco over the last few days. Following on from this, The Verge spoke to spokesperson Kelly Schlageter, and found that parts of New York, Washington D.C., and cities in Florida including Jacksonville, Miami, and Tampa were seeing the same thing happening. Schlageter explained that the carrier deployed sites in the areas and tested the equipment, though instead of turning the coverage off again until a formal announcement, they were left on for customers to use straight away. Sprint is apparently going to make an official announcement for coverage once a sufficient "density of sites" for consistent 4G LTE coverage is reached.
The areas being turned on in piecemeal are not the same as the 28 markets announced in January, with a number of towns across 16 states receiving 4G LTE coverage.