07
Jan
networklogo42_hero_low

Ever since the shutdown of Nextel, Sprint has been preparing to make use of the newly vacated spectrum for its tri-band LTE known as Spark. The carrier has announced today that Spark is launching in six more markets, bringing to total to 11. Virgin Mobile broadband customers can also get a taste of the speed starting today.

sprint-spark

Here is the full list of markets with Sprint Spark, new locations marked with an asterisk:

  • Austin, Texas *
  • Chicago
  • Dallas *
  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla. *
  • Fort Worth, Texas *
  • Houston *
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York                     
  • San Antonio, Texas *
  • Tampa, Fla.

Spark is capable of delivering LTE speeds as high as 60Mbps, but you need to have a compatible phone like the HTC One Max or upcoming LG G Flex. Users of Virgin Mobile's pre-paid hotspot service can also access Sprint's Spark network now with the Netgear Mingle hotspot.

[Sprint]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Rudy Belova

    Why do i have this really bad feeling this spark thing's going to end up like wimax..LOL

    • Abraham

      There is no comparison between Spark and the WiMAX fiasco. Spark is just a fancy name for their tri-band LTE, not a different technology (like WiMAX).

      They are installing LTE on three different frequencies, hence making it much easier to actually find good LTE signal. Higher frequencies reaching farther, while lower ones having better building penetration. This in turn creates better signal for the end user.

      • Abraham

        The fastest Sprint Spark I got in Downtown Los Angeles, using my Nexus 5, was 16.30Mbps download and 7.65Mbps upload! I have seen others report about 30Mbps in Downtown Los Angeles aswell, I just have never experienced that.

        This is obviously not everywhere. LTE overall is very nice around this area though.

        • Alexis Urena

          The Nexus 5 does not support Spark yet, even after enabling the additional bands, you will still have a very hard time connecting to Band 26 or 41. I have seen a couple people hit over 70mb/sec on Band 41. Your results fall into the typical band 25 results.

          • jonathan3579

            You are absolutely correct. The fastest I was getting here in Houston was 15mbps and now that I switched to the HTC One Max, I'm getting over 50mbps. Not only that, the N5 would get stuck on 3G and not come back to LTE without turning on airplane mode.

        • Guest

          The sad thing is, the other networks got those speeds without having to shoot out LTE on 3 frequencies and hope something stuck.

          • Alexis Urena

            I guess you skipped my comment, the chances of his results being "spark" are almost none. The Nexus 5 lacks the proper update to pick up "spark" frequencies.

          • Eric Jones

            This is news to me. I'm not in a Spark enabled area yet, but I thought the N5 was compatible. Source? Does it just need a software update?

          • Alexis Urena

            The source of this post has that information (search Nexus 5 on the press release), Sprint has said its coming soon, and since it looks like the LG G2 is finally coming this month, Nexus 5 should be right around the corner.

          • Eric Jones

            Thanks, I appreciate it. It looks like I'll probably get the software update before I get Spark in my area, so it shouldn't matter.

          • JayQ330

            Yes it does, I tried to enable spark by enabling the 800 lte & 2.5 GHz lte but it still didn't pick up any signal, it also needs a software update along with the lte channel activations.

          • JayQ330

            In 4 months, ending of second quarter sprint will have 40x40 lte advanced, there days speeds won't allow down because of congestion thanks to there high 1900 & 2500/2600 MHz.

          • Guest

            I can only assume that you're an idiot.

        • Robb Nunya

          Does your N5 show the Spark icon when it's on?

        • JayQ330

          Nexus 5 hasn't received the spark update, it's not just enabling the bands it's software also. What you experienced was 1.9 GHz lte, that's all. You'll get an easy 50 MBS down & 25 up when you get spark. I have screen shots of my speed results in the 50 & 40's download.

      • GiantJay

        Higher spectrum travels shorter distances, but is better for higher density populations, lower travel further with better building penetration.

      • Rudy Belova

        On I know.. But I can't help but think "maybe I'll wait to se how this turns out." especially with a possible T-Mobile merger

    • Scott

      "But Sprint promised me Spark..." says every Sprint user 12 months from now.

      • RRockstar

        LOL! You mean 4 years from now we will all still be waiting for Spark. Let's see how creative Sprint's excuses get in 2017.

  • biggerguysf

    Hey Sprint, why don't you shore up your spotty and lackluster 4G/LTE in existing markets like San Francisco???

    • https://twitter.com/#!/doomstang Doomstang

      Because they are probably being done by different crews.

      • biggerguysf

        Not wanting to know a specific reason, just noting that their coverage is pretty bad in an internet-intensive city like SF after promises of full coverage for over a year.

  • GiantJay

    Still on terrible 3G in Sacramento.

    • GeeWhiz

      still no LTE in Seattle though they've been promising it and trying to sell me LTE phones for three years now.

      • GiantJay

        Well at least I have a basketball team. I can't complain too much. Lol.

        • dre

          I stay in sac and I get good lte speeds, its just very spotty coverage because their just starting on sacramento. In the next few month or 2 I hope they do a full Sacramento launch. But right now its very inconsistent, some days ill have lte and some days in the very same area ill have 3g, that just tells me its on its way soon

          • GiantJay

            A lot of permits just expired. Its going to be a while before the work is done is Sacramento. You will continue to see your spotty service. And everyone who has a tri-band phone won't see LTE at all until the back haul is done.

  • Jose Alvarado

    Sprint... Hilarious. You never learn. Focus and finish doing something properly then focus on the next thing. Sprint has no focus, they try to do many things but not one is done well. Sprint is terrible. Unlimited data is useless if you can stream a 60 second YouTube video without buffering for 5 minutes. You get what you pay for that's why I have Verizon. Compare prices for carriers at best buy, they'll show you the prices are virtually identical nowadays.

    • HolyFreakingCrap

      I would rather use a shitty sprint service then a awesome verizon service. People need to stop feeding trolls like verizon and att.

      • Scott

        You say that... until you get sick and tired of paying a premium for a service and getting nothing out of it.

        • bearballz

          You pay a premium for Sprint? That's news to me, Verizon and AT&T are much more expensive.

          • Robb Nunya

            Exactly this. What price do you pay a month, Scott? Now go shop AT&T or Verizon and learn what the cost of a premium service actually is.

    • Mike Palomba

      I love Sprint. Here in staten island we get better coverage with sprint then we ever did with verizon and almost the whole island has spark up and running. I couldnt be happier and we are paying far less then we did for verizon but now we have better service. Stop hating on sprint people cause theyre a very good company imo

  • derk p

    i absolutely hate sprint. i thought them being bought by the japanese would help but no. its getting worse and worse. i hope they die as a company. like blackberry.

    • Guest

      You're that 12 year old troll that everyone hates. With bad grammar to.

  • Irinel Loghin

    Until then, this will come at an extra charge... Look here http://wp.me/p4blua-e

    • Cvweaver

      Let me help clear this up. I'm a Retail Consultant for Sprint. This is a fee you only have to pay if your account has a spending limit, usually due to having no credit or bad credit.

      • Irinel Loghin

        Trust me, I know very well the difference between CBI and ASL customers :)
        The gross of sprint's customers are ASL customers :)

  • Maverick

    Great!

    Sprint (Softbank) is getting better and 2014 is going to be a game changer. Both service is fantastic in it's network and customer. 4G LTE is between 30-35Mpbs dn and 8-10Mbps up and since Sprints network vision upgrades 3G has improved vastly, no more buffering. Looking forward to Sprint spark and the acquisition of tmobile.

  • 500kv

    Spark isn't some gimmick, its making use of the freed up Nextel 800, their current 1900 and the 2.3Ghz spectrum. Why do you think Verizon and At&t have the best network for starters their 3G network is on two bands. 850 CDMA/HSPA+ and 1900 CDMA/HSPA+. 850 will cover 3 to 5 times more area than 1900. T Mobile buying the 700mhz spectrum will mirror what Verizon & At&t did at 3G.

  • RRockstar

    It would be nice if Sprint finished their 4G LTE build out before they moved onto this Spark project. Sprint never finishes anything!

    • JayQ330

      Spark is the name given to tri mode data, instead of saying tri mode they're saying "spark"... it's network visions data name. Finishing spark is finishing there lte, hopefully you get it.

  • Mike Palomba

    To anyone saying that no one will have spark for like 4 years or that sprint is still going to suck... your wrong. Where i live (Staten Island) the entire island is already spark enabled according to the coverage maps. My g2 hasnt recevied the spark update yet but it should be coming soon and when it does i will be eager to test it out

    • Maverick

      In the 1st Qtr 2014 Sprint Spark software update should be pushed out OTA by Sprint. It cannot be updated via manual push from user. Starting today (25 January 2014) keep a lookout for it, you'll get a notification on the device when it's ready to be downloaded.

      Fixes/Enhancements:

      enables Sprint Spark, adds Sprint Spark icons, fixes to Google hang out issues related to VM and MMS issues.

  • phillip scott

    I live in the Washington Metropolitan (D.C.) and received a text from Sprint saying that they are beginning to up grade to spark.

  • JayQ330

    I enabled trip band on my tired nexus 5 & I see no difference, I recieved an email & text from Sprint; I'm getting a free upgrade & getting the easy pay plan & how sprint NewYork vision &spark is complete in my area... But I'm kind of skeptical because I just bought the nexus 5, enabled tri band & still didn't get spark service... So I concluded that it's not just enabling the bands, but a software update to.I don't want to have my nexus 5 without tri band but have a lg g flex as my nexus collects dust.. Plus I'd rather use my nexus. The main concern is when will these spark capable phones get the capacity to use tri mode lte data? 3...4, 5 months? T-Mobile just bought 700MHz class A for lte use & it'd being used now, they're not playing these sprint games that I'm sick of now. But easy pay plus an upgrade sounds good, now contact renewal also.. Just more money to spend. I need to know when the update will be pushed out, not that these new phones are already capable of using spark data, that's what was the impression with the nexus 5 & lg-g2.. now we find out that other phones already have the damn spark network working. It's BS!

  • soononbluray

    My LG G2 got this new Spark connection today while I was in...guess where...Sparks Nevada!
    I was sent the upgrade from Sprint last week and noticed the little LTE with the sunburst logo today where it used to say 3G. It is fast.

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