Sprint fans have watched AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile customers have all the fun with Windows Phone thus far, but that's finally going to change in 2013.

Although the third-placed U.S. carrier will sit on the sidelines as Windows Phone 8 hits the field this month, next year Microsoft's fledgling mobile platform isn't likely to spend much time on Sprint's bench.

"Sprint and Microsoft are partnering to bring Windows Phone 8 to Sprint's customers - operating on its 4G LTE network - next year," Sprint confirmed to TechRadar in a brief email statement Tuesday.

The carrier has yet to confirm Windows Phone 8 handset availability, pricing, or even which models might come to its network come next year.

Round two

The 2013 rollout won't be Sprint's first time at the Windows Phone rodeo - the company previously released a single Windows Phone 7 handset, the HTC Arrive.

According to a Tuesday report by PC Mag, that first effort didn't fare as well as Sprint would have liked, but now the carrier seems ready for round two next year, this time with its ever-expanding 4G LTE network in tow.

Sprint is in the process of an acquisition by Softbank of Japan, which is infusing the carrier with a fresh injection of cash to help expedite its 4G LTE rollout across the United States.

Via PC Mag