Sprint Makes Good on 4G Phone Promise

CTIA Wireless — Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) made good on its promise to launch a WiMAX phone in the first half of the year.

On Tuesday, the wireless carrier, which sells 4G service off the Clearwire Corp. network, took the wraps off its HTC EVO 4G device. Rumor had it the phone was to be called the “Supersonic,” but that appears to just have been a code name.

The EVO has a 4.3-inch screen for watching videos and surfing the Web. Sprint said the screen is 30 percent larger than that of the ever-popular iPhone.

The phone runs on Google Inc.’s Android operating system, boasts an 8-megapixel camera and has a second camera on the front for video chatting.

Sprint didn’t say how much the phone will cost but did say sales will start this summer. A Sprint executive told Reuters the device’s price will run on the high side, compared to other smartphones.

The EVO will run on Sprint’s CDMA network as well as Clearwire’s WiMAX network. Sprint’s WiMAX service, which runs on the Clearwire network, should reach close to 120 million people by the end of the year if rollout plans come to fruition. It reaches 27 markets and 30 million people, with 15 new markets announced so far this year. The service offers an average downlink speed of 3 to 6mbps, with a peak capability of 10mbps.

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