Blog Post

Sprint 4G Arrives in More Cities, But Where Are the 4G Phones?

Sprint (s s) today announced the launch of 4G WiMAX in seven new markets, raising its total of U.S. cities covered to 43. The wireless carrier continues to progress with its planned 4G rollout in partnership with Clearwire (s clwr) and expects that larger markets such as Los Angeles, New York and Miami will see WiMAX before the end of 2010. Sprint advertises the faster wireless broadband service capabilities with average speeds between 3 to 6 Mbps down, and currently offers unlimited service plans for WiMAX.

Residents in the new coverage markets of Rochester, N.Y., Syracuse, N.Y., Merced, Calif., Visalia, Calif., Eugene, Ore., Tri-Cities, Wash., and Yakima, Washington can use the faster network with a data card or an Overdrive mobile hotspot device, but perhaps not with a phone just yet. Sprint’s first and only available 4G handset, the EVO 4G, is currently sold out amid reports of display shortages. HTC, the device manufacturer, has contracted with additional suppliers to ratchet up EVO production, says the Wall Street Journal.

The EVO handset accesses the web over 4G — but falls back to 3G networks as needed — and can also share the WiMAX connection with other mobile devices for a monthly fee. With such capabilities, the phone is currently the flagship device for Sprint’s next-generation network, so timing of handset supply issues couldn’t be worse. As the carrier attempts to ramp up subscribers to the 4G service, it needs capable devices to woo customers. Rumors of a 21 Mbps phone from T-Mobile as early as September could put additional pressure on Sprint to quickly resolve supply issues for the EVO as T-Mobile’s new service has already shown to be faster with a supported device.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Metered Mobile Data is Coming and Here’s How

4 Responses to “Sprint 4G Arrives in More Cities, But Where Are the 4G Phones?”

  1. Sprint has dropped the ball IMO. They are taking too long to bring 4G coverage to major markets – those 43 cities aren’t where the big subscriber base is. End of 2010 is a long way off yet, and many more handsets, including WP7, will be coming to market by then.

  2. Virtuous

    The HTC HD2 appears to have a screen similar to the EVO 4G. The HD2 is easy to obtain. Sprint is being held back by the lack of handsets with Wimax.

  3. I have a pet pig I named EVO because he loves to eat batteries for breakfast.

    We live on Bacon Road in the WiMax estates area of greater Houston but for some reason just cannot get any good 4G reception at the hacienda.

    I am still looking forward to a decent 4G phone that can compete against the iPhone.


  4. All I can say is Sprint missed a big opportunity here. I know a boatload of iPhone users wanted it but couldn’t get. Hopefully they make enough of the Samsung Epics.