It's been a long wait, but early Monday morning Sprint and its partner Clearwire finally announced full 4G service for New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. New York will be first with 4G going live on November 1, Los Angeles will follow a month later on December 1, and San Francisco will launch in late December.
Exact 4G coverage in the markets will vary, but Sprint offered some vague details. New Yorkers should be able to get WiMax in all five boroughs plus some suburban areas. In the Bay Area, 4G will be active between San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco, while coverage in Los Angeles will range from the San Fernando Valley to parts of Orange County. Of course, your exact experience will vary by location.
The addition of the nation's two largest cities, plus San Francisco, adds millions of new customers to Sprint's 4G network. What's more, if you live one of those markets and own a 4G handsets like the Samsung Epic 4G and HTC Evo 4G, you'll now actually get the WiMax service for which you pay $10 per month.
The carrier has been testing its WiMax network in the markets since the middle of last month--we we detected it in the CNET offices in San Francisco a week later--but Sprint's announcement means the rollout phase is over.
By the end of the year, Sprint is scheduled to activate 4G in Miami, Tampa, Denver, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Washington, D.C, which will bring its total WiMax cities to 62. Though Sprint has had a long head start over its national carrier rivals in offering 4G, Verizon Wireless announced two weeks ago that it will activate its 4G LTE network in 38 cities by the end of 2010.