With its network modernization announcement on Friday, Sprint set itself up to meet one of two fates: another spectacular, Nextel-style failure or a corporate turnaround fit for the history books. The company laid out plans for its LTE network that involve going alone with the help of an unknown instead of its former 4G partner, Clearwire. It will do this with scant spectrum resources, even as it balances its precarious finances with a big bet on the iPhone 4S and unlimited data. If Sprint succeeds, the story will read like that of an underdog who makes its ultimate comeback. The question, however, is whether that's even possible.
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