HTC EVO 4G LTE review on table

Sprint's decision to take its LTE live in Kansas City marked a short prelude to a full orchestral performance -- the carrier's upgraded 4G network is now official. Kansas City and St. Joseph in Kansas and Missouri, as well as 13 urban areas in Georgia and Texas, are taking the leap past WiMAX speeds as of today. Senior network VP Bob Azzi has warned the Kansas City Star that the current LTE access is still mostly for use outside until it expands to the 3G network's range, although he adds that there will be a coverage map available from July 16th onwards to let EVO 4G LTE, Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S III owners know when their phones reach full potential. Just remember that the real party starts in 2013, when Sprint hopes to both flick on voice over LTE and ramp up to extra-speedy LTE-Advanced.

[Thanks, Alex]

Update: As locals in the comments have helpfully reminded us, St. Joseph is in Missouri and just sits along the border with Kansas -- you know what they say about horseshoes, hand grenades and being close enough.

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Sprint 4G LTE Launch Extends to 15 Cities Throughout Portions of Georgia, Kansas, Missouri and Texas

The all-new, high-speed data network rollout – known as Network Vision – spreads to communities surrounding Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City and San Antonio and is also now available in Waco, Texas

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), July 16, 2012 - Sprint (NYSE:S), the first national wireless carrier to introduce 4G service in 2008, today announced that it is delivering the speed and power of an all-new 4G LTE network to 15 cities surrounding the Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City and San Antonio markets. Because of an accelerated build schedule for the Network Vision program, Sprint will also launch a 4G LTE network for residents in and around Waco, Texas.

"Sprint and our vendors have been deploying Network Vision sites all across the country for the last several months and we are thrilled to deliver our new network to our customers today in and around Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, San Antonio and Waco," said Bob Azzi, senior vice president-Network, Sprint. "This new network is performing extremely well and customers should find it consistent, reliable and really fast."

Today, Sprint 4G LTE coverage can be found in the following areas and will continue to expand in the coming months:

Atlanta
Athens, Ga.
Calhoun, Ga.
Carrollton, Ga.
Newnan, Ga.
Rome, Ga.
Dallas
Fort Worth, Texas
Granbury-Hood County, Texas
Houston
Huntsville, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Waco, Texas
Kansas City, Mo.-Kan.
St. Joseph, Mo.

For detailed 4G LTE maps, providing coverage information right down to the address, please visit www.sprint.com/coverage. Customers are encouraged to check back often, as the maps will be updated when coverage in these markets is enhanced.

Sprint plans to launch additional 4G LTE markets in the second half of 2012, which will be announced later this year. By the end of 2013, Sprint expects to have largely completed the build out of its all-new 4G LTE nationwide network – with an all-new enhanced 3G network – covering 250 million people across the United States.

Network Vision Means an All-New 3G & 4G Network

To better meet the growing voice and data demands of wireless customers, Sprint is building an all-new, nationwide 3G and 4G LTE network through the Network Vision program. Whether a Sprint customer is using a smartphone to share a picture or to check the Web, Sprint 4G LTE will make it faster.

Coupling the speed of 4G LTE with the industry's only truly unlimited data plan for smartphones makes Sprint the best choice in wireless.* Additionally, the new network will provide significant enhancements to Sprint 3G service once the improvements are completed.

Customers are expected to experience better signal strength, fewer dropped/blocked calls, faster data speeds, expanded coverage and better overall performance as the improvements roll out across the country. Sprint has a history of innovation, as it was the first national wireless carrier to offer 4G service with the launch of the Sprint 4G (WiMAX) network in 2008.

The launch of these 15 cities demonstrates the continued commitment by Sprint to invest in its network through Network Vision. For the most up-to-date details on Sprint's 4G LTE portfolio and rollout, please visit www.sprint.com/4GLTE.

The Wireless Industry's Most Customer-Friendly Data Plans

In today's competitive wireless market, the value of unlimited has never been more apparent. Sprint's Everything Data plan with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM includes unlimited data, texting and calling to and from any mobile phone in America while on the Sprint network, starting at just $79.99 per month for smartphones (pricing excludes taxes and surcharges).

Sprint continues the trend of delivering value to customers through its portfolio of 4G LTE-capable devices and unlimited data experience with Sprint Everything Data plans. Sprint has already launched five 4G LTE-capable devices for less than $200 – HTC EVO™ 4G LTE ($199.99); LG Viper™ 4G LTE ($99.99); Samsung Galaxy Nexus ($199.99); Samsung Galaxy S® III ($199.99 for 16GB version); and Sierra Wireless™ 4G LTE Tri-Fi Hotspot, the nation's first to support 4G LTE, 4G WiMAX and 3G ($99.99) (all pricing excludes taxes).

During the past several years, Sprint has been working hard to deliver the best customer experience. Recently, the American Customer Satisfaction Index ranked Sprint No. 1 among all national carriers and most improved in customer satisfaction, across all 47 industries, during the last four years.

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 56 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2012 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first 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, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint No. 1 among all national carriers and most improved in customer satisfaction across all industries during the last four years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation's greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

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PSA: Sprint LTE goes live today, honest and for true (update: includes Missouri)