The company introduced its 4G WiMAX network two years ago and so far, wireless cards, mobile hotspots, and USB modems have taken advantage of its speed - ten times faster than 3G - but there have yet to be any phones to use with it. The 4G network doesn't reach as many people as 3G, only about 30 million people in 27 markets, but by the end of the 2010, the company expects to add Houston, New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington to that reach.
Forbes made the report last Thursday that the new smartphone would be released during the first half of 2010. Rumor has it that the handset will be dual mode and allow users to take advantage of 3G coverage in areas where 4G is not available. HTC is supposedly going to make the phone which will be based on Google's Android operating system.
To compete with Sprint's WiMAX technology, Verizon says it will introduce its own 4G network this year, using LTE technology. AT&T will launch an LTE network sometime in 2011, while T-Mobile also plans to use LTE in the future.
Being the lone WiMAX-supporting carrier, it's no wonder Sprint is in a hurry to beat out the competition, but it could hurt the company in the long run as other companies work to increase the popularity of LTE. Some say the hurried use of 4G is an attempt to make up for the huge loss the company has suffered since 2005. In the last quarter alone, the company saw a huge loss of both customers and revenue. The new 4G smartphone could attract new customers with the right features and marketing.