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Sprint will add 4G WiMAX to prepaid Boost and Virgin Mobile plans

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Sprint has announced that it intends to add WiMAX service to its prepaid Boost and Virgin Mobile plans later this year; more details will be forthcoming as the unknown date approaches.

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Sprint may be done with WiMAX, but the company has just confirmed that its prepaid brands will be moving to the older 4G service. On an investor call today, Sprint announced that Boost and Virgin Mobile, both of which currently offer prepaid 3G service, will get 4G WiMAX later in the year. Previously, we'd seen rumors that the WiMAX-compliant HTC Design 4G was coming to Boost, possibly by the end of this quarter, so that date may not be too far off.

Sprint didn't elaborate on its plans, nor did it clarify when exactly its new LTE network will be going live. If it sticks to a "mid-year" deployment, as it's planning to do, we wouldn't be surprised to see prepaid customers transition to WiMAX soon after, especially as it dismantles the iDEN network used by some prepaid customers in order to make room for LTE. Not everyone's going to be using Sprint's new network, but the upgrade is clearly making room for customers on a lower pricing tier to use its best current offerings.