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Sprint customers may have to wait longer than anticipated to get their hands on fast new 4G LTE phones.
Sprint CFO Joseph Euteneuer said yesterday that he expects LTE devices to be released in the second half of next year, while speaking at a UBS conference in New York City. Previously, Sprint has indicated a summer 2012 release for its LTE phones.
Euteneuer says it’s likely that the LTE devices will be released in the third quarter (which falls in line with the original summer timeline), and he expects “a number of different models” to be available. Sprint is playing catch-up to both Verizon Wireless, which launched 4G LTE phones earlier this year, and AT&T, which just launched its third LTE phone.
Sprint, America’s third-largest carrier, is currently rushing to keep pace with its bigger competitors when it comes to LTE. Verizon has by far the biggest lead, but AT&T also plans to have a significant LTE presence come the end of next year. Sprint has said it plans to cover 120 million people with its LTE network by the end of 2012, and 250 million by the end of 2012. In comparison, Verizon will have around 200 million people covered by the end of this year.
Euteneuer also announced that Sprint has begun operating its first multi-mode radio, which can broadcast both 4G LTE and 3G CDMA signals. He also reiterated that the company plans to continue using WiMax through 2015.