has been talking up the fact that they have "America's first and only 4G network" on their commercials for awhile now. It has actually been somewhat confusing; you see a Pre ad, then Sprint talks about 4G, yet the Pre cannot support WiMAX nor LTE signals. At any rate, Sprint actually is involved in America's only (at the moment) 4G network, which is also sold and supported by Clearwire.
To date, this super high-speed mobile broadband network has only been used by 4G modems
(like USB sticks), but it sounds like it will finally be put to use by a phone starting in a few months. According to a new report, Sprint will launch the nation's first 4G mobile phone "by this summer," which is a few months ahead of schedule. Details on exactly what phone are still under wraps, but we have all ideas that it will be tested in some of the 27 existing WiMAX markets
, a number that's expected to rapidly grow over the next few years as 3G fades and the 4G build-out continues.
Introducing a 4G phone ahead of every other major U.S. carrier could be a huge boon for Sprint; the carrier has been losing customers for years now, and even when they grabbed the exclusive on the Pre, they didn't really see a huge spike in subscribers. Having something like next-generation speeds on a phone, however, could be the magic exilir for grabbing the attention of the consumer. The only thing it will have to fight is the fact that 4G is available in so few places right now, but the marketing may work in some of America's larger metropolises.