Sprint Nextel’s Evo 4G LTE launch back on track

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Sprint Nextel investors should be breathing a sigh of relief today as the carrier announced the highly anticipated HTC Evo 4G LTE device was back on track for delivery to consumers beginning this week.

In a Twitter post, Sprint Nextel said the device should be landing in the hands of consumers that pre-ordered the device by this Thursday. The launch of the device was originally scheduled for last week, but a patent dispute between HTC and Apple held up shipments.

While not the first device compatible with Sprint Nextel’s soon-to-launch LTE network, the Evo 4G LTE does have a heritage dating back to the WiMAX-equipped Evo 4G that burst onto the scene in 2010 and was immediately a hit for the carrier. The device was the first smartphone compatible with the carrier’s WiMAX-based “4G” service offering and included a number of advanced features.

The device remained a hot seller for Sprint Nextel, having only recently been usurped by the launch of Apple’s iPhone 4S by the carrier late last year. However, the iPhone is currently only compatible with the carrier’s legacy CDMA-based network, though an LTE-equipped version is expected to launch later this year.

Sprint Nextel is currently spending billions of dollars on its LTE deployment plan in an attempt to remain competitive with rivals that are quickly coloring their coverage maps with the new technology. Many see the network offerings as being vital to Sprint Nextel remaining a viable competitor in the eyes of consumers, a viability that should be improved by the carrier’s claims that it will maintain its flat-rate, unlimited smartphone data pricing for the new network while rivals continue to look for ways to control usage.

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Dan Meyer

Editor-in-Chief, Telecom Software, Policy, Wireless Carriers
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Dan Meyer started at RCR Wireless News in 1999 covering wireless carriers and wireless technologies. As editor-in-chief, Dan oversees editorial direction, reports on news from the wireless industry, including telecom software, policy and wireless carriers, and provides opinion stories on topics of concern to the market such as his popular Friday column “Worst of the Week.”

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