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Sprint expects to shut off WiMAX by end of next year

News by Andrew Kameka on Monday April 07, 2014.

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The Sprint WiMAX era come to an end next year once Sprint goes through with plans to cease using the network at some point near the end of 2015. Sprint revealed those intentions in an SEC filing discovered by Fierce Wireless. According to the filing, Sprint plans to decommission 6,000 towers and that number could increase by that time. There will be no need for the towers because those sites will become redundant once Sprint migrates to its Spark tri-band LTE network.

Moving to end WiMax is an obvious play for Sprint. The HTC EVO 4G launched as the first WiMAX smartphone on Sprint as a way for the carrier to get a competitive advantage during the early period of 4G in the United States. The landscape quickly changed once competitors deployed their 4G LTE networks and CEO Dan Hesse conceded that even Sprint would turn to LTE for its long-term 4G strategy. No new WiMAX phones have been introduced since March 2012, but mobile hotspots and some devices on MVNO's were still sold after that cutoff date. As a result, some subscribers may still be under contract with WiMAX devices when the network is shuttered at the end of 2015. Considering how Sprint worked to migrate iDEN users for months before it phased out that technology, the carrier will likely offer an easy path to upgrading to an LTE device next year.

source: SEC, via: Fierce Wireless

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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