Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
Sprint is playing catch up to AT&T and Verizon with its launch of a few new 4G LTE phones and devices.But Sprint’s LTE network isn’t ready yet, and many of these devices such as the HTC EVO 4G LTE and Samsung Galaxy Nexus are either already out or will launch before the network goes live.
As if there wasn’t enough confusion with the different types of 4G standards out there, we now have a carrier selling 4G LTE phones for a nonexistent 4G LTE network.
Even worse, Sprint seems to be OK with this strategy.
Sprint VP Fared Adib told All Things D, “‘Customers sign up for two-year contracts…and it makes sense for customers who want to have the latest technology [to] get a device that will meet their needs throughout that time.”
Customers buy a LTE phone because they think they’re going to get 4G right away. If a customer buys a Galaxy Nexus or EVO 4G LTE this month, he or she won’t be able to get LTE service from Sprint. In fact, we have no clue when exactly Sprint plans to kick off its LTE network.
This sounds like a bait and switch to us. Sprint is luring customers in with the promise of uber fast LTE speeds but are in reality giving users a watered down WiMAX version.
What’s so great about LTE? It’s the fastest standard in 4G technology today. It’s about as fast as your cable or DSL modem. Right now, Sprint’s 4G network runs on something called WiMAX, which is much slower than LTE.