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Sprint to Shutter WiMAX in November

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In April, Sprint confirmed that it would be shutting down its WiMAX network in the first week of November. While Sprint’s WiMAX network didn’t really have all that much coverage or widespread adoption (mostly due to the painfully slow roll out and the emergence of LTE), there are still some MVNOs and phones circulating that use this network.

WiMAX was one of the gambles that Sprint took back when everyone was racing to upgrade to the Next Big Thing after 3G speeds. Sprint was the first to offer faster than 3G speeds, but WiMAX was way more expensive than expected and the invention of LTE totally surpassed WiMAX. Sprint, of course, refused to accept defeat and continued to support the network. While I won’t say that’s what nearly ran Sprint into the ground, it certainly didn’t do its bottom line any favors. But that’s neither here nor there as Sprint has be in the process of swapping everything over to LTE under the rule of Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure.

However, before you panic too much know that like the rest of the world, most MVNOs have already migrated from WiMAX to LTE so this isn’t going to really effect most of you. The primary two companies that I can think of that still use this outdated network include Ting’s CDMA service and FreedomPop. I am certain there others, but your carrier should have alerted you if you are among those numbers.

If you are one of the very few customers who ever managed to get any kind of service on WiMAX, then you should make sure that you have upgraded before the cutoff date of November 6, 2015. Granted, most WiMAX devices are also compatible with 3G networks, so it isn’t like your phone will become a brick. However, if you want faster speeds then an upgrade would be a good option.