It looks like Sprint Nextel may finally catch up to Verizon Wireless in the wireless speed game. According to Cnet, the telecom is on track to announce detailed plans for its own 4G LTE service during an Oct. 7 press event, giving the company's network a much needed speed boost.
Sprint has already begun rolling out parts of the network, installing equipment and performing field tests, and is expected to launch the new 4G service some time between the first and second quarters of 2012. Exactly how many markets the network will cover is still up in the air.
By moving toward a 4G LTE network, Spring customers should be able to get their hands on the LTE versions of devices manufacturers have been pushing out. Sprint currently uses a variation of 4G known as WiMax, which on our tests proved slower than the LTE offered by Verizon Wireless.
Despite that, Sprint has managed to hold on to its position as the third largest wireless carrier in the country by offering competitively priced wireless and unlimited data plans. Current 3G users could also see an improvement in service with the rollout of the new LTE network since, as Cnet explained, Sprint will be offloading some of its 3G data traffic to the new 4G network.
The addition of a 4G LTE network to Sprint's wireless portfolio is part of the company's Network Vision Strategy, which it announced earlier this year. We've figured that Sprint would be making an announcement about the new 4G network since CEO Dan Hesse eluded to it during a July press conference and now it looks like Oct. 7 will be the date. Stay tuned for more news over the coming weeks.