It looks like Sprint's head start in the 4G service race may not be quite as big as the carrier would like. According to the Wall Street Journal, HTC EVO 4G handset shortages are mitigating whatever advantage the company should have, being first out of the gate with the technology. "The early move to 4G has benefited Sprint from a marketing perspective, but it hasn't really proven out in a major way in subscriber growth," said Dan Hays, an analyst for PRTM. Good news, perhaps, for both AT&T and Verizon, who looks to take its first, tentative steps into some markets later this year. In other news, Sprint has announced a handful of 4G rollouts, including such far-flung locales as Rochester and Syracuse, New York; Merced and Visalia, California; Eugene, Oregon; Tri-Cities and Yakima, Washington. Hopefully HTC can start providing the necessary handsets! PR after the break.

[Thanks, Vaha]
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Sprint Launches More 4G Markets in New York, California, Oregon and Washington

Next generation wireless service to reach customers in Rochester, N.Y., Syracuse, N.Y., Merced, Calif., Visalia, Calif., Eugene, Ore., Tri-Cities, Wash., and Yakima, Wash.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Jul 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

Today, Sprint (NYSE:S) launched 4G service in Rochester, N.Y., Syracuse, N.Y., Merced, Calif., Visalia, Calif., Eugene, Ore., Tri-Cities, Wash., and Yakima, Wash. These seven metropolitan areas add to the growing list of markets that are 4G-enabled and mark the first 4G launches for New York and California. With today's seven metro launches, Sprint now offers 4G in 43 markets and expects to have 4G service in many more - including Los Angeles, New York and Miami - by the end of 2010.

With 4G, Sprint defines a new era in wireless. Sprint 4G customers experience fast mobile downloads, seamless streaming video, and turbo-charged Web browsing. This new wireless technology also allows for video chat via the recently released HTC EVO(TM) 4G, America's first 3G/4G wireless smartphone. To demonstrate the confidence that Sprint has in the power of 4G, Sprint offers the Sprint Free Guarantee, which allows customers to try 4G for 30 days. If they are not satisfied, they can cancel service and have the opportunity to be fully reimbursed.1 Sprint also offers simplicity and savings vs. competitors with Everything Data plans, which include unlimited Web, texting and calling while on the Sprint network for one low price.

"We are hearing a lot of positive feedback from our 4G customers who are using HTC EVO and mobile broadband connectivity," said Matt Carter, president of 4G, Sprint. "People are hungry for faster wireless speeds, 3G/4G smartphones and unlimited data plans - and, Sprint offers all of these. With Sprint 4G, we are entering a new world of wireless possibilities."

As summer travel begins, people will find that 4G is available in many markets across the country: California - Merced and Visalia; Georgia - Atlanta and Milledgeville; Hawaii - Honolulu and Maui; Idaho - Boise; Illinois - Chicago; Maryland - Baltimore; Missouri - Kansas City and St. Louis; New York - Rochester and Syracuse; Nevada - Las Vegas; North Carolina - Charlotte, Greensboro (along with High Point and Winston-Salem), Raleigh (along with Cary, Chapel Hill and Durham); Oregon - Eugene, Portland and Salem; Pennsylvania - Harrisburg, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Reading and York; Texas - Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Killeen/Temple, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, San Antonio, Waco and Wichita Falls; Utah - Salt Lake City; Virginia - Richmond; Washington - Bellingham, Seattle, Tri-Cities and Yakima. For more information, visit www.sprint.com/4G.

Sprint is harnessing the power of 4G as the majority shareholder of Clearwire, the independent company that is building the WiMAX network.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 48 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, and is the first and only wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, Common Cents Mobile and Assurance Wireless and instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. With its customer-focused strategy, you can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.