December 06, 2013
What you need to know about tri-band smartphones
By Mark Elliott
Q: What is Tri-Band technology?
A: Known as Sprint SparkSM, this enhanced tri-band LTE technology allows devices to connect to three bands of 4G LTE wireless spectrum available on the Sprint network – Sprint’s 4G LTE network at 800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz. This means you can expect unprecedented data speeds, stronger in-building signal, and improved call quality and clarity on capable devices in Sprint Spark coverage areas.
- 800MHz spectrum excels at in-building coverage
- Using 1.9GHz spectrum, Sprint deployed its new 4G LTE network in 230 cities across the country with average performance in the range of 6-8Mbps downloads and 2-3Mbps uploads
- 2.5GHz spectrum excels at broad-based, high-speed coverage and is expected to provide Sprint customers with increased data speeds and capacity in densely populated cities
A: Sprint Spark is a significant step toward our goal of building the best network in the world. Sprint Spark provides the capacity to greatly improve the performance of video and other bandwidth-intensive applications. It can support a new generation of online gaming, virtual reality and advanced cloud services. Sprint Spark could offer a network speed advantage over most of its U.S. competitors by 2015 and surpass the entire U.S. industry in speed capability in 2016. More importantly, it can help ignite demand for other innovative high-performance applications.
Note: Actual deployment plans and speeds will be determined over time based on many factors, including build economics and the availability of equipment, devices and applications.
Q: Where is Sprint Spark available?
A: Today, Sprint Spark is available in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami. Initially, coverage will focus on higher traffic areas but will expand over time. Sprint plans to deploy Sprint Spark in approximately 100 of America’s largest cities by the end of 2016.
Q: What tri-band devices does Sprint offer?
A: Sprint made four tri-band-capable smartphones available to customers on Friday, Nov. 8 – LG G2, Samsung Galaxy Mega™, Samsung Galaxy S® 4 mini and Nexus 5 by Google. HTC One max will be available on Friday, Nov. 15. Additionally, Sprint offers three mobile broadband devices with tri-band capabilities – MiFi® 500 LTE by Novatel Wireless™, international-capable NETGEAR® Zing Mobile Hotspot™ and the plug-in NETGEAR® 341U USB Modem. These devices connect to a laptop or tablet and let you surf the Web. Tri-band capabilities on Sprint Spark-capable smartphones will be activated at a later date through a software update to the devices.
A: On the phone toolbar (on the top right of your phone’s display) there will be an icon indicating you are connected
to the new network. The icon will not indicate which band you are connected to, as the network technology is designed to connect you to the best available band. For more information check out www.sprint.com/faster.
Mark Elliott is a communications manager for the Wireless Devices team at Sprint. Based in Boston, he works primarily with BlackBerry and Samsung devices and is well versed in the company’s business devices, push-to-talk products and tablets. Mark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.