The fact that Sprint is welcoming LTE
vendors to respond to its RFP for upgrading its legacy CDMA network is no surprise -- in fact, it's no different than the line that the carrier has been taking for well over a year now
. What is
a bit of a surprise, though, is that it appears to be every bit as ambivalent about the direction of its 4G technology path as ever. The current RFP is strictly for an upgrade of Sprint's "core" network, meaning its legacy (if you can call 2G / 3G "legacy") footprint comprised solely of CDMA; its WiMAX assets aren't affected this time around. In fact, the company's VP of product and technology development, Kevin Packingham, went on record with Light Reading
this week saying that it doesn't "see WiMAX and LTE as being mutually exclusive" -- in other words, these guys could end up doing both in the long term. We appreciate Sprint's willingness to accept the fact that LTE's picking up momentum as the global 4G standard, but considering the overwhelming expense involved in building out a new network, is the notion of a two-pronged strategy the right call?