Will the Was "Now" Network become the Will Be "Now" Network?

After over a year of position and scheming, it appears that Sprint has finally adopted a technical direction for its network and customers. And, for all of you who have a WiMAX-based Sprint 4G phone, at least you are not more than two years away from getting trade-in value for an LTE-based 4G product.

The bottom line is that Sprintwill not be adding any new WiMAX phones to its crowded line-up of user technology.

So, the old front-runner  in technology apparently spent much of its time last year negotiating deals and talking about coming out with an LTE strategy instead of actually committing to LTE and getting a network up-and-running.

From its announcement almost a year ago to the complete collapse last month, wasted time means that others are running away with the mindshare of 4G with rolled-out devices and coverage in dozens (and for Verizon over 200) cities.

Now, Sprint finds itself in a catch-up position. Burdened with a multi-billion dollar commitment for iPhone devices, it now faces an even-more un-enviable position of not having a large enough 4G network to compete for a good share of a looming iPhone5 rollout, which one could safely assume has LTE. Without a good share, they will be hard pressed to meet the $15.5 billion they owe to Apple.

In my opinion, Sprint’s marketing has always been suspect, but in last year or so they have moved to position themselves as the provider of the “Now” Network, which would not be bad if it were true. The reality looks more like the “Was Now Network”, when they lead GSM, push-to-talk, and EVDO to the “Will Be NowNetwork” after AT&T and Verizon have over a two year start.

Find out more at the LTE Conference as part of Telecoms Tech World on 4-5 June.

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