Even though Sprint finally became an iPhone partner last fall, the carrier was snubbed this year when Apple unveiled its LTE iPad for Verizon and AT&T. The move made sense though, considering Sprint doesn’t have an LTE network.

But the company is looking to change that in the near future. Earlier today, Sprint announced that it is finally prepared to flip the switch on its 4G LTE network, starting with five cities, on July 15th…

On that date, Sprint subscribers with LTE devices will be able to take advantage of the faster data speeds in Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Kansas City, and San Antonio. The carrier is currently only offering one LTE handset, but it says that it plans to have 15-plus by the end of the year.

Perhaps one of those will be the rumored LTE-flavored iPhone, which is expected to debut in October of this year. Remember, Sprint signed a staggering $15 billion iPhone deal with Apple last year. So it’s safe to assume that the partnership isn’t going to fizzle out anytime soon.

But even if the carrier lands the LTE iPhone, it’s going to have a hard time wooing away customers from its competitors. Verizon, who has had a live LTE network for two years now, is already in more than 300 markets with its 4G tech. And AT&T has a sizable head start as well.

It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out in the fall. Because despite its lack of LTE coverage, Sprint will have one thing going for it. It’s currently the only carrier that still offers an unlimited data plan. And word is, it’s going to keep that around for its LTE devices.

[TheVerge]