News by Dan Seifert on Wednesday April 04, 2012.
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Sprint is gearing up to launch its 4G LTE network this year. In fact, it announced just yesterday that customers can place pre-orders for the LG Viper 4G, which looks like it will be one of the first LTE smartphones to be offered by the carrier. Many have been concerned that Sprint's popular unlimited data plans would not be available for LTE devices, but the carrier has confirmed to Fierce Wireless that they indeed will be.
A Sprint spokesperson told Fierce Wireless that "4G LTE smartphone customers can enjoy the same unlimited data plans which provide customers with unmatched value and simplicity that allows them to utilize their phones to the fullest without worrying about incurring additional data charges." Customers will be able to get unlimited data services on LTE smartphones with the same $79.99 per month Everything Data plan that WiMAX and 3G smartphones use.
Additionally, the rate plans for LTE USB modems and mobile hotspots will be the same as they are for WiMAX and 3G USB modems and mobile hotspots.
Sprint has heavily advertised its unlimited data plans as a superior option to the capped or throttled plans that all the other major carriers in the U.S. offer. Analysts have said that Sprint's unlimited data is not something that the carrier will be able to sustain forever, but it appears, for now, that Sprint is intent on offering unlimited data services for as long as it possibly can.
Sprint plans to have 10 LTE markets live by the middle of this year, and it has announced that Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, and San Antonio will be the first six markets to see the new network. It has not said exactly when those markets will go live with LTE, however.
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.