Sprint Free to Offer 4G LTE iPhone if Apple Launches it Later This Year

Sprint iPhone

Now that the 4G LTE iPad is out, it is widely speculated that the next generation iPhone that will be launched later this year will also support 4G LTE networks.

But since the 4G LTE iPad is available only on AT&T and Verizon’s network, some doubts have been raised whether Apple will offer the 4G LTE iPhone on Sprint’s network as the carrier has just started rolling out its 4G LTE network.

Sprint Chief Financial Officer Joe Euteneuer has clarified that it is free to offer the LTE iPhone if Apple launches it later this year, according to a report on Dow Jones.

Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) said it is free to offer a potential future Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone using the faster mobile broadband network known as 4G LTE. [..]

[..] Sprint Chief Financial Officer Joe Euteneuer declined to say if Apple has such an iPhone planned. The carrier plans to introduce the 4G LTE network in only six cities by midyear.

Nonetheless, Euteneuer said Tuesday at an investor conference that Sprint’s Apple contract is similar to those of rivals AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon Wireless, and that the carrier isn’t being held to any 4G LTE coverage requirements. In comparison, the other two carriers have rolled out 4G LTE to large swaths of the country.

Though Euteneuer doesn’t know when Apple will launch the next iPhone, he expects Apple to launch it in October just like last year. Euteneuer claims that by that time, despite starting the 4G LTE network rollout only late last year, it won’t be too far behind Verizon and AT&T who started the rollout of their 4G LTE networks in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Late last year, Sprint has announced that it will be launching its 4G LTE network in the middle of 2012 and complete the rollout by the end of 2013. Sprint aims to offer 4G LTE services to 125 million Americans by the end of 2012, and to more than 250 million Americans by the time the network build out is complete at the end of 2013.

Like this post? Share it!