Sprint’s LTE Service Quietly Appears In The SF Bay Area

Sprint is making solid headway with its new LTE network — it’s already live in 15 (mostly Texan markets) with another four slated to light up before Labor Day rolls around and the carrier aims to have 12,000 LTE sites online by the end of the year.

Sure, the process has been held up at least partially thanks to some damn birds, but now it seems another region should officially get the LTE nod shortly. AndroidPolice reported last night that users in the San Francisco Bay Area have been able to get up and running on Sprint’s nascent LTE network ahead of an official announcement.

This isn’t the first time that Bay Area Sprint customers have caught a glimpse of Sprint’s new 4G network at work — some people reported seeing 4G icons appearing on their LTE devices back in early July — but it’s finally gotten to the point where people can actually use the network. Suffice it to say that the network probably isn’t ready for prime time just yet, but initial speed tests seem promising enough.

Android Police’s tipster reported seeing speeds of roughly 13MBps down and 8MBps up around Palo Alto and Mountain View. Not shabby at all, but that could all change once Sprint makes its official announcement (rumors point to a November reveal) and users tempted by sweet new hardware start piling onto the network. If you’re in the area and have a compatible handset, I’d advise you to take it for a spin before then, if only you so can play the hipster card and claim to have been on Sprint’s LTE network before it went big.