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Sprint Launches 4G In More Markets

11/02/2009 02:10:08 PM Eastern

Overland Park, Kan. - Sprint launched 4G Mobile WiMAX service under its brand in five more market and plans to launch two more markets by the end of the month, spreading its WiMAX footprint to 23 markets.

By year's end, the company promises to light up four more markets, and in 2010, it promised "multiple" additional markets for its service, which promises average 4G speeds of 3-6Mbps compared to "typical published 3G average speeds [of] 600kbps-1.7 Mbps, the carrier said.

The newest Sprint 4G markets to go online are Dallas-Ft. Worth; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Raleigh, N.C.; and the metro area consisting of Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point metro area. Later in November, Sprint will launch service in the Texas cities of Austin and San Antonio. And later in the year, Sprint will deploy Sprint 4G service in Honolulu; Maui, Hawaii; Salem, Ore.; and Seattle.

Earlier this year, Sprint turned on Atlanta; Las Vegas; Philadelphia; Portland; Abilene, Texas; Amarillo, Texas; Bellingham, Wash.; Boise, Idaho; Corpus Christi, Texas; Killeen-Temple, Texas; Lubbock, Texas; Midland-Odessa, Texas; Milledgeville, Ga.; Waco, Texas and Wichita Falls, Texas. The carrier's first 4G market, Baltimore, went on line in September 2008.

In 2010, Sprint said it expects to launch service in "multiple markets" and said they would include Boston, Houston, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Sprint's 4G products are available in Sprint-owned stores, www.sprint.com, telesales and Best Buy. Products consist of a 3G/4G USB modem, battery-operated 3G/4G Personal Hostpot that enables four Wi-Fi enabled devices to connect to the 4G network, and a desktop router that connects up to 32 Wi-Fi-enabled devices to the WiMAX network, a spokesperson said. In 2009 and 2010, the carrier also plans a single-mode 4G data card, 4G-embedded laptops, and a 3G phone equipped with 4G data.

Sprint is a 51 percent owner of Clearwire, the company building the WiMAX network over which Sprint is offering Sprint-branded service. Clearwire, also an owner, is marketing 4G service under the Clear brand, as will three other owners: cable operators Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse Networks. Comcast recently launched service under its High-Speed 2go brand service in Atlanta; Portland and Salem, Ore.; and Bellingham, Wash.

Sprint's 3G/4G USB Modem U300is available on promotion for free after a $50 mail-in rebate for consumers and instant rebates for business clients with a two-year agreement. Sprint is offering new 4G/3G data plans for consumers at $69.99 monthly with unlimited 4G and 4G/3G data plans for businesses at $69.99 with unlimited 4G and unlimited 3G on the Sprint network.

For people who live or work outside of a Sprint 4G market, Sprint offers a 3G-only plan at $59.99 per month with the U300, but consumers can purchase a 4G day-pass at $10.

Sprint is harnessing the power of 4G as the largest shareholder of Clearwire with a 51 percent stake in this independent company that is building the WiMAX network. Sprint is the only national wireless carrier to offer 4G services on the Clearwire WiMAX network.

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