Sprint special October event could reveal 4G plans

Carrier announces an event on October 7 it's calling a "strategy update," but it doesn't give any clue as to the agenda topics. So far speculation is pointing to its 4G future as the potential subject.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read


Sprint is holding a special event in early October that it's dubbed "a strategy update," prompting speculation as to what strategy the carrier will discuss.

The invite sent out to the media says the event will take place in New York City on Friday, October 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET. But the agenda teases only presentations by senior management and a Q&A session with no details as to the topic.

So far, speculation is pointing to Sprint's 4G future as the potential subject.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse apparently told Engadget last month that he had a "great story around 4G" for this fall, leading the tech news site to come up with a few scenarios, including an acquisition of 4G partner Clearwire, a move to LTE-Advanced, or some details on Sprint carrying the iPhone.

The folks at AppleInsider point out that the event date is the same time the iPhone 5 is rumored to launch, though it seems unlikely Sprint would hold its event on exactly the same day, assuming the October 7 date is accurate.

Tech news site This is My Next said that the event could be about the iPhone 5 but it believes it's more likely that the topic will involve both LightSquared and Clearwire.

Just before rumors started popping up about Sprint acquiring Clearwire, the carrier had already cut a deal with LightSquared in which the two will team up to build a 4G network. Under the terms of the deal, LightSquared will pay Sprint $9 billion in cash and about $4.5 billion in credits for LTE and satellite equipment, while Sprint will host LightSquared's spectrum space and provide network services.

LTE could also be one topic on the table. In the U.S., Sprint was the first carrier to roll out 4G service. But it's the only provider using WiMax, while AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile have all given the nod to LTE. As more of the nation moves toward LTE for its 4G technology, This is My Next thinks that maybe it's time for Sprint to start thinking about an LTE transition.

Update 2:38 p.m. PT: It turns out Sprint made mention of a planned future 4G event during a recent conference call, so we're all the more confident that will be the topic of discussion on October 7.

CNET reporter Roger Cheng contributed to this story.