Sprint, champion of WiMax and a former backer of XOHM (which has become Clearwire), may be hedging its 4G bets.

Reports GigaOm:

Sources in the telecommunications world have been telling me that Sprint is testing Long Term Evolution, or LTE, equipment, which seems a bit odd given Sprint’s cheerleading for WiMAX and 51 percent stake in Clearwire, which is building out a nationwide WiMAX network.

GigaOm got this response back:

As a prudent Technology Development organization we are always collecting competitive information about various technologies/equipment to monitor and assess the competitive landscape and any potential impacts to Sprint’s plans.

Sure. But there's testing, and then there's testing. We're still way early into the LTE/WiMAX battle, and we're nowhere near being able to even begin declaring a winner. (That, and there are zero mainstream phones on either service right now.) So maybe Sprint's poking its toes in the LTE pool, and maybe it's not. Let's finish getting 3G built out and under everyone's belts first, shall we?