4G Looms Large At CTIA

All eyes will be on Sprint and Verizon at CTIA this week with the telecom giants expected to flesh out their 4G strategies.
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Publish date:

Updated with Sprint comment.

LAS VEGAS (

TheStreet

) -- All eyes will be on

Sprint

(S) - Get Report

and

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

at

CTIA

this week as the telecom giants are expected to flesh out their 4G strategies.

Sprint will make its big CTIA announcement this afternoon

at a press conference hosted by CEO Dan Hesse. Reporters were sent an email on Monday inviting them to hear how Sprint "is taking the wireless experience to new heights in 2010."

Fourth-generation, or 4G, networks look set to be one of the big themes of this year's CTIA event.

The blogosphere, for example, has been alive with chatter that

Sprint

will introduce the world's first 4G smartphone, courtesy of

HTC

. The

Wall Street Journal

recently reported that Sprint will unveil the new 'Supersonic' phone in Sin City, and it seems inevitable that Sprint will beat its 4G drum today.

The Overland Park, Kan.-based firm is in third place in the wireless market, behind

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

and Verizon, but is the trailblazer for high-speed 4G networks.

With consumers and businesses clamoring for faster data speeds, Sprint launched its first 4G network in Baltimore in September 2008. 4G, which is said to be up to 10 times faster than 3G, has already been extended to 27 cities, according to Sprint. Working closely with its

WiMax partner

,

Clearwire

(CLWR)

, the telecom giant says that this coverage will be extended even further during 2010.

Sprint,

which narrowed its recent fourth-quarter losses

, is expected to take the stage with HTC execs to unveil a WiMax Supersonic phone today.

The telco, however, was unwilling to provide comment for this story when contacted by

TheStreet

, explaining that it cannot divulge any information ahead of the event.

There has also been plenty of talk about Verizon in the days leading up to CTIA, with

Information Week

reporting that the firm will unveil more details of its own 4G strategy, built around

LTE technology

.

Specifically,

Information Week

reports that Verizon Wireless will make an announcement with VOIP specialist

Skype

at CTIA. Verizon, which already works with Skype around 3G, has not yet responded to

TheStreet's

request for comment on this story.

Despite all the buzz surrounding 4G, there is some

skepticism about when the technology will deliver investor upside.

Ericcson

(ERIC) - Get Report

CFO Jan Frykhammar, for example, has warned that 4G will not generate significant revenue until 2012.

It's not just 4G, though, that is

grabbing attention as CTIA kicks off

.

Motorola i1

There have already been signs that

Google's

(GOOG) - Get Report

Android

will feature prominently at the show.

On Monday, for example, Sprint teamed up with

Motorola

(MOT)

to launch the i1 phone, which they are touting as the world's first 'Push-To-Talk' Android-powered smartphone.

-- Reported by James Rogers in Las Vegas

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