A typical cell site can cost $50,000 to upgrade, and Sprint and other carriers must add LTE to thousands of sites, he noted.
The Sprint findings reflect the nature of network upgrades, he added. "How quickly can you go out and touch each tower and at what cost? And how to do that without disrupting current customers and service? "
Still, Gold said it is "not a good idea" for Sprint to issue press releases and post maps promoting LTE coverage that it doesn't have. "Every carrier does that to some extent," he said. "But the maps should be accurate."
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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