Not long after this afternoon’s announcement of Sprint’s first four LTE markets that are intended to launch by the end of June this year, more details on the resurgent carrier’s plans have surfaced, first regarding its perpetually cloudy policies on data throttling and the first sighting of the forthcoming Sprint version of the Galaxy Nexus manufactured by Samsung.
Today while speaking to investors at a conference being held ahead of next week’s Consumer Electronics show, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse offered some sort of response regarding its throttling policies, stating that “the top 1%” of users were being dropped from the network as a way to deal with what the carrier terms as excessive use of data.
The statement would normally have merit, were there any evidence to back up this claim. Cursory investigation of Sprint’s own forums and others such as HowardForums and XDADevelopers show no evidence of customers either being contacted for excessive usage or being dropped by the carrier for such activity, putting Hesse’s own statement into question. Other news organizations have attempted to clarify the statement by inferring that the customers that are being contacted and subsequently dropped by the carrier are using excessive data while roaming, but Sprint’s own data roaming policies dictate that any usage over 300MB would trigger notifications before forcing the customer off of the network for excessive usage.
Naturally, many others have decided to jump on the throttling = false advertising soapbox based on a cloudy statement made by Dan Hesse during an investor conference in order to address concerns regarding data network integrity as a result of the iPhone, when his own previous statements praise the iPhone for allowing them to continue to offer unlimited data to begin with. PhoneNews.com is awaiting clarification from Sprint on the matter.
Next up, following the leaked Flash ad that revealed planned Black Friday pricing for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus before its series of delays, the next leaked Flash ad found rotating on CNET earlier today has revealed that Sprint will indeed be launching its own version of Google’s own Galaxy Nexus manufactured by Samsung with an LTE radio instead of the expected WiMax radio.
The Sprint Galaxy Nexus will also receive another upgrade, with a newer generation 1.5GHz processor compared to the 1.2GHz version found in the Verizon and international versions of the phone, although not much else is known about what other changes, if any have been done to the Sprint version besides the upgraded processor.
It’s also expected that the Sprint version will retain support for Google Wallet, as the Verizon version of the phone has had support stripped in favor of its support for the competing ISIS mobile payment initiative, which upset many owners and potential customers expecting the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus to be identical to the international version with little in the way of carrier customization.
This latest leak confirms a previous leak that first surfaced last October, in which the packing list for Sprint marketing materials revealed that Sprint was going to be launching a version of the phone, but at the time it was speculated that the Sprint version would have a WiMax radio instead of an LTE radio. As the ad confirms an LTE radio, this suggests that Sprint has had LTE devices in development since the third quarter of last year, if not earlier. CES is expected to confirm further details on availability for the Galaxy Nexus, as well as complete specifications for the phone and possible pricing details.
It would not be a stretch to say that the Sprint Galaxy Nexus will launch in time for the launch of LTE service in Dallas, Atlanta, San Antonio and Houston, but such launches can be fluid and ever changing, as evidenced by the constant delays with AT&T’s LTE network launch last year with AT&T originally intending to launch the network in Summer before a series of delays forced it to move the launch to the late Fall timeframe and rushing to play catchup to Verizon.
With Sprint giving its embattled LTE partner LightSquared 30 days to clear FCC hurdles, it remains to be seen how the carrier will also handle the rollout of its network, as its depending on LightSquared for a good chunk of its LTE network footprint and its Clearwire tie up will more than likely be used to shore up coverage areas that are already covered by the ISP and only need new equipment along with its own Network Vision network plan.