Sprint will go LTE in early 2012

Posted by Mike Luttrell

It sure looks like LTE is the way to go, as Sprint looks to firm up its plans to transition to the highest-speed 4G data standard over the next few months.

LTE, which stands for Long Term Evolution, is a technological standard for high-speed mobile Internet access and has been ranked far and away as superior to the other competing standards.

Sprint was the first to bring out "4G" products, using a mobile data infrastructure known as Wimax. At the time, it was seen as blazing fast and a revolution to the existing speeds that 3G phone owners had come to expect.

But there's always something better down the road. Verizon, which waited a good 1.5 years or so after Sprint crossed the 4G bridge before it decided to build a new network, was able to latch onto the LTE standard.

So now, by all accounts, Verizon has the fastest 4G network in the country. AT&T and T-Mobile, which operate on a different spectrum that Sprint and Verizon, were stuck with a standard known as HSPA+, which at this point seems like a mere incremental upgrade to 3G.

However, now it seems everyone is coalescing around LTE, even if it means scrapping existing 4G infrastructure. AT&T just launched a new LTE network, and now Sprint is joining the game.

Sprint is reportedly planning to hold an event next month where it will officially announce plans for the future of its 4G strategy.