No matter how sexy the phone is… if you can’t get coverage… it is just a worthless shiny toy!

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It’s not an overstatement to say that Sprint pulled off a significant coup earlier this year when it introduced America’s first 4G smartphone to rave reviews. The HTC Evo 4G not only attracted new customers to a carrier that had long been losing them, but it also gave a much needed boost to a struggling brand.

Though the Evo 4G, and the newer Samsung Epic 4G, are sold across the country, Sprint’s 4G WiMax network still does not cover some of the nation’s largest cities. And for 4G handset owners paying an extra $10 per month for service they don’t get, the coverage gaps can seem endless, inexplicable, and frustrating.

Why the wait?
So what is the holdup? Why does it take so long to get 4G and when will Sprint add new cities? Indeed, we’ve asked those questions for months, so we don’t blame CNET readers for doing the same. Though acquiring the necessary spectrum plays a huge part in bringing 4G service to a new area, Sprint and its partner Clearwire also have to surmount a multitude of logistical and legal barriers before they can acquire the land, build the tower, install the equipment, and switch on the service. Depending on the community, that can take months or even years, and in the process, customers are left waiting.