Ina Fried

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Sprint Says No More WiMax Phones as It Prepares for LTE

Sprint confirmed on Thursday that it doesn’t plan to release any further phones running on WiMax as it prepares to light up a new, LTE-based 4G network later this year.

Speaking at the Competitive Carriers Global Expo in Orlando, Sprint’s Bob Azzi said that the carrier is in the final stages of testing that LTE network.

“We are wrapping up final field integration tests,” Azzi said, according to Fierce Wireless. “The technology works and delivers more benefits than we expected.”

The statement all but guarantees that HTC and Sprint plan to release an LTE-based phone at an event next month.

Sprint plans to launch LTE service around midyear in Baltimore, Kansas City, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Atlanta.

By going with WiMax, Sprint was first to the U.S. market with a next-generation network. However, with the rest of the market coalescing around LTE, the carrier decided to shift gears and build an LTE network of its own.

(For those who want a primer on WiMax, LTE and all the other acronyms related to 4G, check out this piece by Walt Mossberg.)

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus