Following news that some recent 4G WiMax smartphones on Sprint’s network that were released within the last year–like the HTC EVO 3D and HTC EVO Design 4G–would be making their way to Sprint-owned prepaid carriers Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA sometime this year, the Now Network has confirmed that it will also be blessing those prepaid networks with 4G services to give prepaid subscribers the best experience with those WiMax-enabled devices. As Sprint is moving its own post-paid network to the faster 4G LTE technology for mobile broadband, bringing 4G WiMax to its pre-paid network would still give post-paid (customers with a two-year contract) subscribers a competitive speed advantage if they own an LTE device and are in a Sprint LTE service area.
Rumors that Sprint would be porting its 4G WiMax service to its prepaid brands have been circulating recently, and the news was finally confirmed in Sprint’s recent conference calls where the carrier had talked about its earnings.
Sprint had rushed to be the first 4G carrier in the U.S. when it launched the HTC EVO 4G nearly two years ago and the carrier had chosen to standardize on WiMax as technology to power its next-generation mobile broadband network. However, as Sprint’s rivals–AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile–have committed to LTE, Sprint’s WiMax speeds pale in comparison to what other networks are offering. In an effort to be more competitive, Sprint’s Network Vision strategy is having the carrier switch to LTE for the future.
Offering prepaid customers 4G through WiMax will definitely help Sprint appease its large user base of prepaid customers.