According to CNET, Sprint Nextel will launch its own 4G LTE network early next year. As stated by their sources, the company is already installing LTE equipment and has been field testing the network in select areas. While it is currently unclear how many markets the network would launch in, they hope to launch commercial service by the end of the first quarter or beginning of the second of 2012.

This LTE network is part of the company’s broader Network Vision plan, after a failed roll-out (and partnership with Clearwire) of its WiMAX technology. With the costs already accounted for in its prior forecast, the LTE network also won’t require any additional capital investment.

Sprint’s 4G LTE network would give the carrier a network on par with Verizon’s, supplying the nation’s third-largest carrier with an additional selling point beyond cheap plans and unlimited data. However, many who have already purchased a WiMAX device may be wondering what will happen down the road, will they be left in the dark?