Sprint was clearly up to something good when we noticed LTE in parts of San Francisco. It turns out that this was just the tip of the iceberg -- the carrier has since confirmed that it's also flicking the switch in New York City, parts of New York state, Washington DC, and Florida cities that include Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa. The faster access is going live on a site-by-site basis in given areas rather than all at once, which bears out what we're hearing from readers and a Sprint spokesperson we reached for comment: LTE appears to be available in pockets in at least New York City and San Francisco. Sprint won't have a formal news release until it believes the coverage is complete, but we suspect most customers will be too busy testing the speed of their long-underused EVO 4G LTE or iPhone 5 to notice.
[Thanks, Derek and Revie]
Update: The full Sprint statement is after the break.
"Yes, we are hearing more and more reports of Sprint customers discovering LTE on their 4G LTE devices in San Francisco and New York City.
"This is exciting for all of us. As we prepare the Sprint 4G LTE network for its 'official' launch in big cities like LA, San Francisco and NYC, cell sites are being turned on with the new service. This is done in order to test and prepare the network. It is one of the many ways our network team ensures that Sprint 4G LTE meets our standards. Many of these sites will remain turned on and customers can access the service on their devices. The service will get better and reach more and more neighborhoods as we continue our buildout – this is a taste of what's to come.
As we prepare for the 4G LTE launch of San Francisco and New York City, customers may bump into a 4G LTE signal and we hope that they find the experience enjoyable."