Sprint Spark network is a go, phones coming November 8

Sprint has sent out a note to the press, chock full of news plenty of folks are going to love. They are about to officially kick out Sprint Spark — what they've named their tri-band LTE technology — and have three phones in the works to use it.

Spark is Sprint's attempt to get some serious LTE speeds for their customers by utilizing the three different wireless spectrums they use and hold licenses for. The network and devices capable will use active hand off between 800MHz, 1,9Ghz and 2.5GHz frequencies to cover three needs. The 800MHz bands will offer great building penetration, the 1.9GHz bands are good for general purpose LTE connections in more populated (and slightly congested) areas, while the 2.4GHz frequency allows Sprint to cover long distances with maximum capacity. There are five markets officially live today — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami — and 100 of America's largest cities will be covered during the next three years.

You're going to need phones that support this, and Sprint has three new ones coming.

The LG G2 will be available Friday, November 8. It will run $199.99 with a new agreement, or $19.59 per month (plus tax) using Sprint One Up. The G2 will receive an update to enable support for Sprint Spark in early 2014.

The Samsung Galaxy Mega will be available Friday, November 8 for $199.99 with a new agreement. Sprint One Up users can grab it for $19.59 pre month plus taxes. Uncle Sam gots to get his. The Galaxy Mega is expected to receive an update to enable Sprint Spark network support shortly after launch.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini will also be available Friday, November 8. It will cost you $249.99 with a new agreement, or an even $25 (again — taxes) per month with Sprint One Up. Like the Mega, it should receive an update shortly after launch to enable tri-band Sprint Spark support.

In addition, Sprint tells us that the HTC One Max is coming soon, and is going to cost $249.99 with a new agreement or $25 monthly on Sprint One Up. No word on any release dates or Sprint Spark usability dates on that one just yet. Consider it a teaser.


Reader comments

Sprint announces their first 'Spark' tri-band LTE phones: LG G2, Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy Mega


The next three years... That's all I need to know. I'm switching. I have been waiting for about 4 years now for Sprint's network to get better. Wimax was a flop and LTE is taking 40 times longer than initially predicted. Maybe in three years I'll look back in and see how it is going but 7 years is too long to wait for this better network Sprint keeps saying is on its way.

I was with sprint for 10 years and finally switched. best decision ive made. they are just too far behind. they wasted too much time with wimax.

LTE is already in most major markets and should be fully complete (nationwide) by early to mid next year. They are saying 3 years to have the 2.5ghz Clearwire spectrum nationwide, which is a separate deal.

About 2 days ago I was testing my phones download speed with my nexus 5 on sprint & I was getting speed from 38/45 & 54 MBS but I know I didn't recurve the update so could've it been lucky lte spot? Is the 32 GB nexus not the sprint one which I don't think matters, because when I had the sprint version it was the Google play unlocked version to, except more $ for the 16 GB version/$450, them returned it & kept the sim card that the sprint nexus 5 came with & used it on the $400 nexus 5 32 GB one... Could that be the reason...

Guess Sprint can't hang with the BIG BOYS AFTER ALL. I thought the Softbank thing meant they had real money they never had before.

Oh well it is what it is. I honestly could care less I am to busy jumping all over the place buying handsets at a 6 month clip.

Nexus 7 Lte tablet due up November 29th for me followed by the Galaxy S5 and Note 4 all next year. And to think I just got off my Note 2 and purchased my Note 3 October 4th.

Posted from my Galaxy Note 3 on Tmobile via Android Central App

First of all, you clearly don't understand the amount of time it takes for money to trickle down and actually start to be seen being used. Just because you get a paycheck every month doesn't mean you should spend it all asap. Idiot.

"I am to busy jumping all over the place buying handsets at a 6 month clip" Says the guy who just last month owned nothing but a Note 2, and claimed to have sold it a day before he got the Note 3. You claimed you would be getting the S4 weeks, even months, before it came out, and you "passed" on it. Who's to say you won't do the same exact thing for the S5?You clearly can't tell time. Also, your supposed acquisition of a Nexus anything is highly improbable given how you claim no one wants "boring useless stock Android" with "no real multitasking abilities". Stupid hypocrite.

Thanks for shutting that cocky "I'm to buddy jumping from d*** to d*** every month" stfu, your to take to be believed by anyone.

Dearest Richard,

When you type "I honestly could care less", it means you actually care about whatever the topic is.
What you mean to say, using the context of the rest of your comment and your past comments over the years here at AC, is that you care so little that you COULDN'T POSSIBLY care any less.
Therefore, the correct expression is, "I honestly couldn't care less".

A concerned netizen.

Sprint would be the 1 network I would leave Verizon for because of their unlimited for life promotion but right now that network is just terrible

Posted via Android Central App

I'm in Chicago and can't decide if I want to stay or run to T-Mobile who is spreading LTE quickly here in the northern suburbs. Sprints lte has been spotty but slowly spreading. Voice and 3G has been better. Ugh I'm just gonna have to wait it out and see where sprint truly goes in the area or maybe just JUMP now! Ahhh I'm going crazy here!!

Posted via Android Central App

I gave up, tried the rest and settled on AT&T, their LTE network in Chicago and the Midwest is fantastic. A couple of weeks ago I was watching the RedZone channel via my Slingbox on my HTC One at the Bears game at Soldier Field - I couldn't even sent a MMS out on Sprint last year (with 4 bars). And it doesn't matter how many connection points Sprint provides if they're capping their data bandwidth at such low levels.

Its has been better this last year in Chicago. It was unbearable 2 years ago. Unlimited on a tri-band may be crazy good. I will not go to at&t cause I want unlimited data. My mother new G2 on at&t is marvelous and the networks is great. But it will be T-Mobile or Sprint for me.

Posted via Android Central App

I definitely understand you. I switched from Sprint like 3 years ago to Tmobile, before TMO even had LTE. Living in Chicago and working in the North Burbs I'm happy to report that I'm very pleased with my service. I just did a speedtest with the FCC speedtest app and saw an avg of 23mbps in Deerfield/Northbrook.. and you cant really top the moves that theyre making with their whole uncarrier approach.no contracts, unlimited data, free international data OH MY!.. now granted the service isnt perfect and its not impossible to drop a call or experience slow speed on a limited occasion but I've never had an issue with my service that made me want to switch. I even have the opportunity to get a concession line with vzw or att thru work but I dont want to have limits on my data.. I say switch

I hope they bring out an update for the htc one so I can use the tri band technology

Posted via Android Central App

Your HTC One is not equipped to do so and an update will not be capable of changing that fact.

Posted via Android Central App

3 years? how long did we wait for WIMAX and then LTE? F that.

bye Hesse.

i'm not going away mad, i'm just going away.

Bought a note 3 last week off contract knowing darn well it only supported the 1900 band... Doesn't bother me.... I'm in the south Chicago suburbs and what DOES bother me is my apartment I'm lucky to get 4mbps down and 1 up... Yet.... If I go 10 minutes south of my apartment I get 20+mbps and 5+ on the upload.... Just asking for consistency sprint

You're complaining about 4mbps down? I wish I was a spoiled city slicker that was disappointed by things like that

I used to live in Chicago and I moved to Southeast of Michigan State and I average 18 to 24MBPS in a bad day.And their 4G never been announced yet in my area yet.the I get on Sprint download 35Mbps. I never seen 0.5mbps or such things as everyone saying. I have videos I'm going to upload it on YouTube.

Wow, this makes me excited. I'm one of the few loyal Sprint customers, so its nice to see this bit of news on top of LTE finally hitting my area in the last few months AND I'm ready for an upgrade. Since Nexus 5 isn't mentioned, I wonder if...

Yeah, saw that. But a Tri-Band Nexus 5? I don't suppose every new release from Sprint will be Tri-Band from here on out, would it?

I also am a loyal Sprint customer until August of 2014. If I do get a new phone within the next year it will be the Nexus 5, because rumor has it that it will work on Sprint. And because when I leave I won't have to buy another phone for Tmobile.

Posted from my Beta Tester AC app!

I highly doubt the Nexus 5 will work on Sprint and T-Mobile with the same phone.

Go Hokies!

Been with Sprint for over 14 years. I was close to leaving around June, but after taking a look at Sensorly ( online 4g map ) it showed how much LTE has progressed in New Orleans. I decided to stay and I have had periods of still crap 3g but mainly get 4g in the areas I am the most ( work, gym, home) so I can hold off and let Sprint wow us wirh their new Tri Band when it gets here

I also gave up on Sprint. It's going to take them years to get on the level of other carriers, especially with the 800 mhz LTE network. So glad I switched. And it sucks that every Sprint LTE phone out right now will not be able to take advantage of the tri bands in the future.

Posted via Android Central App

The equipment necessary to provided LTE data and voice service on band 25 which is the old Nextel spectrum that operated on 800 MHz is already established on network vision towers. Sprint is confirming that it will take them 3 years to rollout band 41 which is Clearwire LTE that operates on 2.5 Ghz nationwide.

Posted via Android Central App

Let me tell you something I am someone who has a degree in electrical eng. 800mhz is the carrier signal when dealing with wireless the lower the better this means larger coverage area maybe very little dif. in speed due to sub signals they can broadcast on that carrier. This is why all the carriers where fighting over the 700 MHz band that was to be released this year. the big problem with the carriers right know is the Tech is growing so fast they cannot keep up there already talking about 2 Gb/s in the next couple of years ... the big problem in addition to all of this is the backbones going to these towers meaning the old copper that the phone carriers are replacing with the orange tubes of fiber you see along the road any connection is only as fast as it's weakest link. This is why when talking to Broadcom yes that network company two years ago when I worked for a major TV company in the US they wanted the company to put Gig network cards in TV's I told them internet speeds wouldn't even be over the 100 mb/s for a long time they didn't think I was right but look at us now just getting 100 mb/s on Comcast. I could write a book on speeds ...good app for everyone out there to check speeds is Coverage Map by rootmetrics

I'm encouraged by the tri-banding LTE situation, though I'm disappointed about waiting another 3 years for it to reach my area, though in reality being in a small New England town that probably means 7 years or more since we just recently got 4G LTE through a network vision upgrade on the 17th of October. Admittedly Sprint has worked with me and provided free airave devices. but they've still go some distance to travel to bring it all together. If they're successfully at doing so and don't backpedal on the "unlimited for life" stuff they could be a respected player in the wireless game after all.

They said 100 cities in the next 3 years. Sprint is notorious for giving way too positive of timelines and really, only 100 cities in 3 years? How many thousands upon thousands of areas will this have absolutely no benefit whatsoever in those 3 years?

It's almost 2014 and my city is just now getting LTE. You better believe I'm not holding my breath for those jerk offs.

Posted via Android Central App

Sprint's problem is that they didn't choose to address all these concerns during thier network vision upgrade. Had they had it all planned out from the start, they would have only had to go in and hit each site once to rather than several times with all these upgrades

Since I'm in a major city, I could expect to see it rolled out in my area sooner rather than later. It's all going to come down to whether the Nexus 5 will support it, otherwise I'll probably leave Sprint.

Posted via Android Central App

You don't understand how Network Vision is being rolled out. Sprint couldn't just put 2.5Ghz and 800 Mhz in at the same time as the 1900 Mhz radios. Sprint needed to wait for the iDEN network shutdown to start turning up 800 Mhz and the Clearwire acquisition to finish to get the 2.5 Ghz spectrum opened up. It also didn't help that Clearwire dragged their feet in changing over to LTE from WiMax until after the acquisition.

Will all 3 bands work at the same time or is this a some areas have this band and others have that band deal?

Posted via Android Central App

The three bands will work simultaneously on the tower, but your phone will only use one at a time. The tower and your phone will decide what band to use depending on your reception of each band. 800Mhz for distance/indoor, 1900Mhz for mid-range, 2500Mhz for near-range dense population areas.

I'm under the impression that it will indeed use all 3 bands simultaneously if possible. It's called carrier aggregation, and it's the reason that all the Spark capable devices do not have SVLTE (voice/sms and LTE at the same time, it has to pause the data connection to use 1x or EVDO).

If you only know how much clearwire spent to push their wimax then you would not suggest that they just turn over like that. At who's expense?

Posted via Android Central App

My understanding is that nearly all Network Vision tower upgrades have all the necessary hardware for all three bands. Turning on 800MHz service will require a software upgrade and the available spectrum in the area. What is going to take 3 more years is the completion of Network Vision.

That's my understanding too. When I spoke to a network technician in the Overland Park office for nearly an hour (to resolve my signal issues and prevent me from leaving) I was told that not only had the Network Vision not been done on the towers near me, but that once it was completed that Sprint would be able to respond to bandwidth and network congestion demands through the use of software vs sending out a team to install more equipment. I seem to remember that they were also bringing in fiber optics to replace the former T-1 connections. It therefore sounds logical that they could have all the hardware in place, but not be able to activate it until the spectrum was available.

It will take Sprint 3 years to complete the nationwide rollout of band 41 which is Clearwire LTE ,..

Posted via Android Central App

I was with Sprint for 6 years...After never getting wimax,then getting LTE that pulls 50k in some spots and 3g that gets 35k I decided enough was enough and not to mention their shoddy customer service. I left for Verizon and I am so happy...finally I have reliable service everywhere I have gone that sprint would flop on. So 3 years=10 years in Sprints book.

Sprint is telling you the good news and it only takes 3 years to deliver it!?!

Just imagine how long it is really going to take. The best-case scenario is 3 years. In Sprint time that is 5-7 years. If you are waiting for tri-band, move on and come back if you want/need to. I left Sprint almost a year ago and can't imagine going back. We have all heard the stories (and sadly they are all true).

Move on, nothing to see here.

By that time T-Mobile would have been nos 3. And this is not me saying sprint is running out of ideas but them putting it out there.

Posted via Android Central App

By that time T-Mobile would have been nos 3. And this is not me saying sprint is running out of ideas but them putting it out there.

Posted via Android Central App

Will I be able to use the spark network on my galaxy note 3?

Jk..... :(

Posted via Android Central App

Your comment made me lol. I really hope you're joking because I can't see how you even typed that with a straight face. T-Mobile is absolutely awful.

I'm just now getting regular LTE from Sprint (although I'm not a costumer) so why should I wait for one more technology that my city probably won't see until 2015 or so? Go $&%# yourself Sprint.

Posted via Android Central App

I have been a Sprint/Nextel customer since 1998. In 2010, I was promised 4G was coming to my area soon... so go ahead and get a 4G phone. I purchased the EVO... and 4G never came (although they did charge me an additional $10/month for 4G service). In 2012, when it was time to upgrade, they told me my 4G phone was outdated (I couldn't tell... I never got to use it), and that I would need a new LTE phone that was coming to my area soon.... as of today, it's still not here.

The only reason I haven't left is when I do travel to areas with LTE, I'm able to stream Netflix for the kids which is invaluable. As for when I'm at home.... I get a pretty good 3G signal... and by good, meaning I can actually send a MMS message while on the phone.

I know longer buy on contract.

The extra $10 per month was NOT for 4G data, it is for premium data.... Regular feature phones use Basic Data, and if you go for a smartphone then it is the $10/mo extra.... read your bill, dumbass

They changed the way they marketed that charge so most long time customers were told it was a $10 4G fee. So get your facts straight dumbass

Posted via Android Central App

You're the stupid ass. When the original EVO 4G came out, it was a $10 4G charge. Sprint later renamed it so they could keep charging people without having to keep explaining why they charge people $10 a month when most of the people didn't have 4G/WIMAX. Get your facts right before you go calling people names you IDIOT.!!.

Am glad to hear about more improvements. Lte works for me but in my work building the speeds are much slower than outside but still useable. So if this improves things when I get my next device, I will be even happier.

Posted via my GS3 with the Android Central App

I love what this company is doing. They are preparing their network for the future and with a little patience it will payoff. Everyone complaining about the length of time doesn't understand the amount of work it takes to upgrade a nationwide network. With the spectrum they currently have and the technology they are implementing I'm sure their competitors are anxiously watching. Sprint has been in the game a very long time. They had critics when they were the first to roll out fiber for their nationwide domestic landline years ago and they will have critics with this technology as well. The only difference is, those competitors are no longer around anymore.

This is a great thing in my opinion. I been with Sprint over 10 yrs. Yeah before LTE got here the coverage was so so. But now it's great in my area. I have good to great LTE coverage almost every where I go in my area of Hampton Roads on my Note 3. No complaints here for me.

Posted via my Samsung Galaxy Note® 3

The LTE on 2500,800/1900 will take 3 years to be almost complete BECAUSE they have to add additional wiring and a new Tower Box for Clearwire equipment. There are towers in the US that protection on Wimax towers so there can be no work done on that tower. Until those protections expire, Sprint can't do any work on those towers. But I'm enjoying my TRULY unlimited data on 4G lte! :)

My SGSII on Sprint is on it's last legs and I was burned with the whole WIMAX BS. T-Mobile is looking better and better everyday with no contract prices that match Sprint's.

Waiting for Nexus 5 to show up and then jump ship to T-mo!

The Note 3 does support 800 and 1900. Don't care alot about 2.5 at this point

My S-Pen went through hell to deliver this important message to you

I have to say that at least this time Sprint has the SPARK Network up and running in those major cities as we speak. It's easier to wait for a phone to come out than to wait for the network to roll out after the phone is released...(4G/WIMAX)...
And while Verizon and AT&T may have a broader 4G network, they are still more expensive, still charge for data, and still get updates after Sprint most of the time. Sprint isn't perfect by a long shot, but I like what they are doing more than I like the other three carriers.

Was with Sprint for 8 years. I've been waiting for WiMax in San Diego, never happened. LTE came but they actually never announced it and it's still in the testing phases. I had to get a family plan so I switched over to T-Mobile and I did 40 mbps down on my first speed test. I'm a happy customer rocking the LG G2.

Like always living in Wisconsin u might never ever get any of the goodness. Thanks Wisconsin for being so far behind. Woohooo :-(

Posted via Android Central App

Awesome. By the time I upgrade next year my area should have spark. Till then I'll use my unlimited LTE on the 1900.

I've been with Sprint over 14 years. I've loved them as a company, and have never had a problem with their customer service. However, after waiting for years for them to get things together, I finally gave up and made the leap to T-Mobile. Best decision I've made in ages. T-Mobile's service and data speeds are light years better than Sprint's in NYC.

While I do believe that Sprint will improve over time, their network vision LTE rollout has been a disaster. Their LTE has been spotty and inconsistent even in areas where they say it's fully covered. This means you're stuck with EVDO 3g speeds, which are closer to EDGE on T-Mobile. The bottom line is that while I'm fully aware of the intricate details and complexity of their Network Vision upgrades, T-Mobile has embarrassed them. When I was with Sprint up until last month, I've had spotty LTE coverage in NYC since last October. As of September of 2013, it hasn't been improved much and NYC still doesn't have full LTE coverage after over a year of "work". T-Mobile, in the other hand just launched LTE in NYC in July. I have yet to encounter an area in the city where I don't have LTE coverage with T-Mobile. T-Mobile has done more in 3 months than Sprint has done in a year.

Sorry for the rant, but all I'm saying is that maybe Sprint should focus on improving coverage and consistency before they worry about faster theoretical download speeds.

Posted via Android Central App

So since the Clear network is in Columbus Ohio they will consider this as LTE being launched here wow

Posted via Android Central App

Sprint sux! They have their customers buying new phones their 'improvements' fail. LTE outside but not indoors?? My nexus 4 on HSPA+ will do til the nexus 6.

Posted via Android Central App

Correct me if I'm wrong but based on the information I've gathered isn't the Nexus 5 also going to be a tri-band phone?

Nexus 7 2013

I have been a Sprint/Nextel customer since 2000. I have been patiently awaiting for the coverage to improve and faster data speeds. I live in Poughkeepsie NY. I travel to CT NJ and NYC. IT is no better there. I hope this new Spark lights a fire under Sprint ass to fix their problems. It is definitely needed.

Posted via Android Central App

Correct me if im wrong thanks, Tmobile perchased Metro PCS and they had 4g already so TMOs 4g isn't it really MetroPCS 4G towers that they are using?

As Always you should first see who has the best coverage in your area and then see who has the better deal for you. Sprint is bad where you live but Verizon is great. Why be with Sprint? Tired of people and their " I've been with Sprint for years and they never get better " or " i have been waiting for WiMax and it never came". Why you still Rolling with the EVO4G or GSII is beyond me. Are you still driving a Kia Sofia too?

I too have had Sprint for over 10 years and been through some bad spots but over all i have been happy. I get Great 4G and in the spots i dont get any service like my office building and mall (which is stupid) Tmo didnt work either. Now i get better reception at the office and had 4G running inside faster and before Tmo did.

So if Sprint is building better and faster towers Congrats and Yes its about time.
IF TMO is ahead of Sprint because of their purchase of Metro great but that is light the Yankees with their payroll playing the A's in Money Ball doesn't mean their better and will win. ( and I love the Yanks)

This is good news for us Sprint fans and this means i will wait for the my tri band Note4.

The haters can just keep leaving Sprint! More people that leave. The more Bandwidth for me and my old 3G GSII. I am waiting for the re-release of the S4 in triband, then I will stick with Sprint a little longer. They have treated me well in my parts of the country.

I think I'm safe in saying that the Nexus 5 will support Sprint Spark. Yeah, it's been a tough journey for Sprint as a result of the Nextel acquisition, but if you look at all the bandwidth Sprint now has, the future looks really good! Way to go Sprint! Can't wait for the next Nexus :-)

Posted via Sprint's SGSIII Using The Android Central App

I got the piece of shit Sprint LG G2. It doesn't connect to LTE. I sold my Galaxy Note 3 with great LTE connectivity. This is some BULLSHIT! Im thru with Sprint.

I have the same phone. I am supposed to have lte where i am and just get 3g. Also with my g2 the voice calls are horrible, sounds like im talkin on a phone from the mid 90's. This is my second one as i am still in the fourteen day period. Would you recomment the note 3 as i was gonna exchange this again due to poor voice quality and no lte.