Sprint Announces Partnership with Light Squared: LTE to Rule Them All

There is a lot of talk about “4G” and the huge amount of confusion has made it mean
absolutely nothing to consumers. 4G is currently being used to describe three different
mobile technologies. The fastest of these three technologies is LTE and currently
Verizon is the only carrier to have an LTE infrastructure. AT&T is set to launch its LTE
network by the end of 2011. Now it seems Sprint is getting in on the LTE action with the
help of Light Squared.

What is Light Squared?

Light Squared is a company that’s taking a different approach to LTE. Unlike AT&T
and Verizon, who both put their own infrastructure in place and then charge for it, Light
Squared just handles the Infrastructure. Light Squared takes care of getting the 4G up
and running and then leases it out to anyone who would like to pay for it. Sprint LTE
devices would then be running on “rented spectrum” from Light Squared rather than a
dedicated Sprint LTE network.

Sprint 4G

This came as a bit of a surprise to many, as Sprint was the first to come to market
with “4G.” The 4G technologies they were and are using, however, was WiMax and not
LTE. WiMax is far faster than EV-DO, (Sprint’s “3G”) but it is nowhere near as fast as
LTE. It makes sense to make the switch but after already having spent so much on its
WiMax infrastructure, it’s odd to see them give up the fight so quickly. This will surely
lead to some consumer outrage as well, since all current “4G” phone will only operate on
WiMax and not LTE. While in the long term, this will end up better for Sprint customers;
they may want to prepare for a bumpy transition. It’s starting seem like those EVO 4G’s
may not end up so 4G after all.

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