Sprint Testing LTE Equipment; Whither WiMax?

LTE's been the chosen 4G standard for a while—AT&T, Verizon and others are going that way. Sprint, the lone stalwart, has been pursuing WiMax glory. But GigaOM says now they're evaluating LTE equipment. Wha?

A couple of sources inform GigaOM that Sprint's currently testing LTE equipment. Sprint's response is a non-denial kind of denial:

You know of our commitment to WiMAX as our 4G play, the only next gen technology commercially offered. … As a prudent Technology Development organization we are always collecting competitive information about various technologies/equipment to monitor and assess the competitive landscape and any potential impacts to Sprint's plans.

It doesn't mean Sprint's about to throw up a curtain and go "AHA! We fooled you!" and switch to LTE tomorrow. But it does indicate that they're trying to be flexible, in case the harsh reality is that LTE really is the only way to go. Luckily, Clearwire's WiMax equipment can be used for LTE, if they need it to be.

So, while this isn't necessarily bad news for WiMax, it is good news for LTE. (If you're confused by all these terms, check out our mobile term explainer here.) [GigaOM]