Ina Fried

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Sprint Said to Be Launching LTE Network Early Next Year

Sprint was the first out of the gate with 4G when it launched its WiMax-based network. However, with the rest of the industry moving toward LTE, Sprint has said it is open to other technologies.

CNET reports that Sprint is actually more than open to LTE — it’s already testing gear and planning to launch an LTE network early next year. Sprint is scheduled to talk about its network future at an event next week and a representative declined to comment ahead of that.

Sprint has already taken some steps into LTE, including signing a deal with LightSquared, which is looking to build a wholesale LTE network of its own.

Verizon has already launched LTE widely and AT&T has just launched its own LTE network in several markets. T-Mobile has said its long-term future would be LTE, but it currently lacks the spectrum it needs to offer such a network — part of the reason it is hoping its deal to be acquired by AT&T goes through.

While adding LTE would be costly for Sprint, trying to get handset makers to support WiMax with their latest devices could become harder over time as the world centers on a different technology. Many of the signs of such a move are evident, including partner Clearwire saying that it is also looking to support LTE.

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google