Sprint announced three new 4G LTE devices as CES kicks off. The carrier, which has in the past operated on rival 4G WiMax technology, is now beginning its transition to LTE technology as part of its Network Vision strategy to offer customers more robust and faster mobile broadband speeds, which will allow faster downloads and uploads of digital files. Of the three new devices, two are phones and one is a mobile hotspot that is a multi-modal 3G/4G device.
The first phone is the Galaxy Nexus, which will be similar to the Verizon variant but will support Google Wallet’s NFC feature out of the box.
The second phone is the LG Viper, an eco-friendly LTE smartphone.
And lastly, the Sierra Wireless Tri-Network hotspot will allow customers to connect to Sprint’s Now Network 3G connection, 4G WiMax connection, as well as 4G LTE.
We’ll be sure to get some hands-on time with these devices soon at CES 2012. Here is the press release:
Sprint Continues the Momentum for LTE Launch by
Unveiling Three Initial 4G LTE Devices –
Galaxy Nexus, LG Viper and Sierra Wireless Tri-Network Hotspot
Customers in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio are expected to enjoy ultra-fast 4G LTE service and an improved 3G wireless experience before middle of year
LAS VEGAS (CES) – Jan. 9, 2012 – Sprint (NYSE:S) today announced the initial group of devices that will operate on its 4G LTE network – Galaxy Nexus™, boasting a pure Google™ experience, LG Viper™ 4G LTE with eco-friendly features and Sierra Wireless™ Tri-Network Hotspot, 3G, 4G and 4G LTE mobile hotspot. Full product specifications, pricing and availability will be shared closer to each device’s launch date.
The debut of these devices is a key element of Network Vision, Sprint’s plan to consolidate multiple network technologies into one seamless solution. With Network Vision, Sprint customers can expect to enjoy ultra-fast data speeds, improved 3G voice and data quality, and stronger in-building signal penetration providing a more valuable wireless experience and enhancing the value of current unlimited plans.
“The first three products that will run on the Sprint 4G LTE network exemplify the cutting-edge technology our customers can expect from Sprint as we progress with our 4G LTE rollout,” said Steve Elfman, president of Network, Wholesale and Product Development for Sprint. “Galaxy Nexus packs industry-leading features and the best of Google into a beautiful design while LG Viper 4G LTE continues Sprint’s commitment to green devices that don’t sacrifice speed or technology. These products combine with our unlimited data pricing plans to give Sprint customers a powerful wireless experience.”
On Jan. 5, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse announced that customers in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio are expected to be among the first to benefit from 4G LTE and improved 3G coverage in the first half of 2012. Additional areas that will receive 3G enhancements and 4G LTE expansion in 2012 will be announced later in the year.
Approximately 15 4G LTE devices are currently on track to be launched in 2012 including handsets, tablets and data cards. Additionally, 4G devices, including HTC EVO™ Design 4G, Samsung Epic™ 4G Touch and Nexus S™ 4G, will continue to be sold in 2012.
The new 4G LTE smartphones will benefit from Sprint Everything plans including the Everything Data Plan with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM offering unlimited data, texting and calling to and from any mobile phone in America while on the Sprint Network. With Sprint’s unlimited data plans, customers don’t have to worry about throttling or surprises on their monthly bill from data overage charges like they might with tiered data plans from other carriers.
Sprint’s unlimited data plans also benefit NBA fans. As the Official Wireless Service Partner of the NBA, Sprint exclusively offers Sprint NBA Mobile on Android phones, including the upcoming 4G LTE LG Viper. This new custom app provides in-game and post-game video highlights, news, scores, stats and live home and away radio broadcasts to NBA fans.
Robust Features at 4G LTE Speeds
Pairing the beauty of Samsung hardware with a pure Google experience, Galaxy Nexus on Sprint is built on Android™ 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. Ice Cream Sandwich brings an entirely new look and feel to Android. It has a redesigned user interface with improved multi-tasking, notifications, Wi-Fi hotspot, NFC support and a full web browsing experience. Galaxy Nexus features software navigation buttons, a first for Android smartphones. The lock screen, home screen, phone app and everything in between has been rethought and redesigned to make Android simple, beautiful and useful.
Ice Cream Sandwich introduces innovations such as Face Unlock, which uses facial recognition to unlock your phone. Using NFC (Near Field Communications) technology, Android Beam allows users to quickly share web pages, apps and YouTube™ videos with friends by simply tapping phones together. Users can even video chat with up to 10 friends with Google+ Hangouts for mobile. Galaxy Nexus will also be Sprint’s second smartphone enabled with NFC supporting Google Wallet, enabling the phone to be used like a wallet to make safe, secure purchases at hundreds of thousands of participating retailers.
Green without Compromising Speed
LG Viper 4G LTE brings customers the benefit of eco-friendly features without missing out on speed or the latest technology. Initial eco-friendly features include a charger with a no-load consumption rating of .03W, which exceeds the EC Code of Conduct on energy efficiency and the casing is made of 35 percent recycled plastics. Additional details will be provided closer to availability.
Powered by Android 2.3, Gingerbread, LG Viper 4G LTE is equipped with a 1.2GHz dual core processor and two cameras – a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a VGA front-facing camera that makes face-to-face video calls a fun and easy experience. It offers a 4-inch WVGA NOVA display, hotspot capability and a microSD™ slot supporting up to 32GB. It is also compatible with DLNA-capable devices.
As a Sprint ID smartphone, LG Viper 4G LTE allows users to cut through the clutter of more than 400,000 apps in Android Market™ by selecting from a variety of mobile ID packs featuring apps, ringers, wallpapers, widgets and more. Currently available Sprint ID packs include Green, Fashion and Beauty, E!™, MTV™ Music, CMT and NASCAR Sprint Cup. In addition, LG Viper 4G LTE is NFC-enabled and capable of providing Google Wallet.
Hotspot Combines 4G LTE, 4G WiMAX and 3G
Sprint expands its mobile broadband portfolio with its first 4G LTE mobile broadband device, Sierra Wireless™ Tri-Network Hotspot. It will be the first tri-network (3G, 4G and 4G LTE) mobile hotspot and will easily allow families, small businesses and traveling co-workers to share their high-speed connection.
With Sierra Wireless™ Tri-Network Hotspot, customers can extend their Sprint 3G/4G experience beyond just their laptops to up to eight Wi-Fi® enabled devices, such as cameras, music players, personal media players and portable game consoles. In addition, its microSD™ slot allows teams to share files and presentations with network storage. It is simple to set up with no software required.