Sprint nears completion of all-new 4G LTE and upgraded 3G network in metro area
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), January 30, 2014 - Sprint (NYSE:S) is bringing its hometown of Kansas City better coverage, improved call quality and faster data speeds, as well as Sprint SparkTM, a super-high-speed network capability supporting advanced services and futuristic applications. Sprint customers with Sprint Spark-enabled devices in such local areas as Brookside, The Legends, downtown and Overland Park will begin to see a noticeable difference in data speeds during the next several months.
Sprint Spark, launching today in the Kansas City area, currently is available in 11 other markets and is planned for about 100 of America’s largest cities during the next three years. The network capability delivers unrivaled wireless peak data speeds of up to 60Mbps today and potential speeds three times that fast by late 2015.1
“Sprint Spark is a revolutionary combination of capabilities unmatched by any other wireless provider,” said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. “We plan to bring the most advanced wireless technologies in the world to our hometown.”
This capability builds on Network Vision, the initiative to bring an all-new 4G LTE and 3G network to Sprint customers across the country. This effort to re-engineer the Sprint network is nearly complete in the Kansas City metro area. Many customers already are noticing improvements, and more are expected to enjoy this improved experience as enhancements reach the key cell towers in the areas where they most frequently use Sprint service. In fact, a recent Root Metrics report revealed that Sprint was second to none in call performance as measured by blocked and dropped calls in the Kansas City area.
The remarkable wireless data speeds enabled by Sprint Spark are of particular importance for business customers and are expected to help stimulate the local economy by helping attract more businesses, especially startup ventures, to Kansas City.
“We’re already seeing the Kansas City entrepreneur community benefiting from Sprint’s commitment to innovation and startup development through the Sprint Accelerator in the Crossroads space,” said Bob Marcusse, president and CEO of the Kansas City Area Development Council. “Now, that same innovative spirit is being tapped to deliver Sprint Spark. It’s important because Sprint Spark will deliver superior wireless service and data speeds, which is vitally important to attracting entrepreneurs, startups and new businesses to Kansas City.”
As part of the all-new network build, Sprint also has begun to deploy High Definition (HD) Voice in Kansas City, a new Sprint standard for voice quality. HD Voice is a next-generation technology for mobile phones where background noise is virtually eliminated and sound quality is dramatically enhanced.2 The HD Voice rollout should be complete nationwide by mid-2014.
Sprint Framily Plan
Innovation at Sprint is not limited to advances with the network. Customers with Sprint Spark-enabled devices can select the new Sprint Framily Plan – a pricing program that lets consumers decide who they consider family. The Sprint Framily Plan is available to new and existing customers. The more people added to the group, up to 10 phone lines, the greater the savings for everyone on the plan. Because each account can be billed separately, customers can choose who is in their group.
For one line of service, new Sprint customers pay $55 per month per line for unlimited talk, text and 1GB of data. For each additional new Sprint customer who joins the Framily group, the cost per person goes down $5 a month up to a maximum monthly discount of $30 per line. Build a group of at least seven people and everyone gets unlimited talk, text and 1GB of data while on the Sprint network for $25 per month per line (pricing excludes taxes and surcharges).
All members of the group can customize their plan to meet personalized, unique needs. For only $20 per month per line, Framily members can buy up to unlimited data, and they are eligible to get a new phone every year. Plan members can share the savings without the hassle of sharing a bill or sharing data. Unlimited features are while on the Sprint network.
Sprint announced Sprint Spark in October 2013, demonstrating live 1Gbps (gigabit-per-second) over-the-air speed at its lab near Silicon Valley, California.
Sprint Spark is a unique combination of network technologies, spectrum capacity and devices capable of seamless transition from one spectrum band to another. Together, these capabilities support a new generation of online gaming, virtual reality, advanced cloud services and other applications requiring high bandwidth.
These amazing speeds are possible because of the rollout of Sprint’s Network Vision program, a complete upgrade of the 3G network and deployment of 4G LTE, which also benefits Sprint’s no-contract brands Boost Mobile, payLo and Virgin Mobile USA. As part of that program, Sprint is redeploying its 800MHz spectrum for LTE and 3G, delivering improved in-building coverage for voice and data. Sprint expects the rollout of Network Vision to be largely complete by mid-2014.
Sprint Spark comes to life for customers via their devices. Building on Network Vision’s multimode capability, Sprint Spark is designed to accommodate all of Sprint’s spectrum bands on a single device. These tri-band smartphones are designed to give users the best experience depending on such factors as location or type of application. All of the new Sprint branded smartphones introduced are expected to have tri-band capability, thereby enabling a Sprint Spark experience.
In addition to Kansas City, Sprint Spark is available in the following markets:
- Austin, Texas
- Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
- Fort Worth, Texas
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Antonio, Texas
- Tampa, Fla.
For more information about Sprint Spark, visit Sprint.com/faster. There you’ll find videos and other useful information on how Sprint Spark brings to life a new wave of applications and innovations.
Spark Speeds on Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go
NETGEAR® Mingle™ Mobile Hotspot will be the first tri-band device available to U.S. prepaid customers. It will be available this quarter on Virgin Mobile’s competitive Broadband2Go no-contract plans, which include daily service for $5/day. Broadband2Go also offers monthly data plans with 1.5GB for $25 or 6GB for $55.
Mingle lets you take Wi-Fi with you, accommodating up to 10 wireless devices simultaneously. It is a dual-mode 3G/4G LTE device, providing up to 12.5 hours active time (1,800mAh battery) and featuring secure access with password protection, plus a 1.77-inch” LCD display screen.
Sprint (NYSE:S) offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint served more than 54 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2013 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The 2013 American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint as the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all 47 industries, during the last five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
1Sprint Spark 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.
2HD Voice capability requires call between two Sprint HD Voice capable devices on upgraded areas of the Sprint network.
Melinda Tiemeyer, 913-315-3607