Sprint spark

So we've gotten our first look at the new Sprint Spark data today on the HTC One Max. This, as you'll recall, is the tri-band LTE that hands off between the 800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz bands, promising theoretical peak speeds of 50 Mbps to 60 Mbps. (Your mileage will — cough — vary .) It's also available on the Samsung Galaxy Mega, Galaxy S4 Mini and the LG G2.

And that is the continuously spinning data icon that goes along with it.

Maybe it's not any worse than the animations other operators use. But it's certainly more noticeable. And it's also spinning its little pixels off even if you're not in one of the five Spark launch cities of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami or Tampa. Odd, but whatever. Hi, little spinner guy.

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Reader comments

Sprint doesn't want you to forget you've got dizzingly fast Spark LTE data


good thing people won't see these speeds for another year or two. secondly that icon is hideous

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They will tell you its coming then scrap it all together when the new standard comes out like Wimax.

Me too :( luckily I got my Nexus 5 and am out of contract. I ordered my free T-Mobile Sim and won't have to wait any longer for the LTE that's "coming really soon."

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Actually I have a G2 that I enabled band 41 on and get 50mb down when by a band 41 tower in Saint Louis. That icon is crap though.....

+1 I was gonna say the same thing. I just dropped Sprint Wednesday cause of their spotty LTE coverage and crappy 3G. So far so good on T-Mobile. Not looking back.

LOL, so did I last week! Sprint didn't even make an attempt to keep me either! I get 10-15Mb on HSPDA+ and even faster on LTE (10-30Mb)! I live in South Florida and the LTE footprint is everywhere! The best part is when I don't get LTE sometimes inside a building, it switches to HSPDA+ which is almost as fast! Also Wifi calling is amazing for perfect calling anywhere you have Wifi, even in other countries! I don't know why I stayed at Sprint with their 3G LTE speeds. I got the Note 3 and I love it!

I feel bad for all Sprint users and I live in South Florida where Spark is already launched! LOL, The Spark coverage map shows me in a Spark "Turbo" (their word not mine) area and I couldn't even get normal LTE there! And when I went outside a few blocks from my house and almost next to the tower the most I would get is 2Mb sec! Arg!


They have a Spark coverage map? I've only seen an LTE coverage map. I am in South Florida too, and get LTE in most places. I don't get LTE inside, but then again, most places inside I get WiFi, so no big deal. Just took my phone off of WiFi, and I'm getting 3.65 down and 1 up inside. I don't see a need for faster as I don't really download on it.

This is my second time commenting on this post, the first time the system deleted my post! I think it was because I linked to the sprint coverage map for you. The newest one on their site has Spark included. Just search Google for Sprint coverage map and then once there click the data tab. Lol, I live in a Turbo Spark area (Sprints terminology) yet I can't even get normal LTE! And how are they planning on doing 50+Mb down when they can't even do more than 2Mb now?!

But the speeds you are getting on LTE are 3G speeds! Here is South Florida you see closer to 1-2Mb down and .5-1Mb up! With T-mobile I see 15-30Mb on HSPDA+ and LTE plus I get free hotspot to use as I please! I also pay less than with Sprint and I get LTE and HSPDA inside almost all places, which Sprint I would never get LTE inside of anything! Hell 3G wouldn't work indoors most places!


HSPA+ is the next generation of HSPDA. There will never be a thing called HSPDA+. He was close enougn and you're splitting hairs.

Would you mind pointing out where he lied? His experience seems pretty on par with what I've experienced elsewhere in the country.

With Sprint's already spotty LTE coverage, I doubt they are going to deploy this very quickly. With all of the cities and markets that Sprint has said they have launched LTE in, it's true. They have "launched" LTE somewhere in that city or market, but only in spotty locations. My area has it, but I will be driving and have 4G for about 2 miles, then my phone will spazz out trying to switch off the LTE radio and onto the 3G radio (their network hands off 4G to 3G REALLY poorly, most of the time I will lose internet connection entirely!) and the cycle continues everywhere I go.

This doesn't mention that some of their 4G sites you'll see fantastic speeds, while others will barely spit out 1mbps.

I really want to rally behind Sprint. I want them to succeed, but I can't continue to use their network especially when T-Mobile has lots more coverage, and their spectrum penetrates further and through buildings better than Sprint. T-Mobile has been doing everything right since the AT&T failed buyout, and Sprint just keeps plopping turds all over the place. At least when T-Mobile says that they've deployed LTE in a market, the city/market is actually 100% covered, compared to my city/market which has maybe 60% at best.

My phone (LG G2 has not received the update to enable spark yet (it will be available on Jan 24) but Staten Island (where I live) already has Sprint Spark almost everywhere according to Sprints Coverage Maps. And Brooklyn has a lot of it too! I can't wait until the 24th because I am dying to try it out...

As a Sprint customer and supporter... That is a dumb ass icon... Good thing I won't have to see it on my Nexus.

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Why yes, we do exist.

And I'm glad I don't have to see that crap excuse of an icon on my HTC One, although I'd love it if my phone supported this as well. (As I'm in one of the starting cities)

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Completely depends on where you live. Where I live, LTE is spotty. My phone may take 2-5 minutes to pick up a 4G tower when I'm right in front of a tower. And when handing off from a 4G tower to a 3G tower, it will often think that it still has a 4G connection and not be able to use the internet at all.

Some 3G towers in my area barely pull speeds of 5kb/s, while others are close to 300kb/s. Sprint is a mess. Complete mess. Some areas I'm sure are covered pretty well, but most are certainly not, and I'm not sticking around another 2 years to see if they might fix it.

Depending on where you live,
I personally think at&t is an over priced t-mobile and both of their networks suck.

Where I live verizon's service even sucks!

Sprint is the only service that works right.

Only 4g in Lake Tahoe.

I was going to post the same thing, I don't live in the US though so I won't see this at least

Posted via Android Central App on my nexus 4

Not to mention ripping you a new one every month with those high prices and crap customer service. Don't forget the long delays for updates to.

You know I've always said the same thing when it comes to Verizon and AT&T, but the truth hurts sometimes. I've been a Sprint customer for 10 plus years and by all means they have (hands down) the best customer service out of all from what I have seen with friends and reviews. I love their service! BUT!!!! Their cellular service sucks in every facet compaired to the other 2. Dare I say that may be a good reason Sprint is a lil cheaper... just sayin. Sorry for the novel! :)

I would prefer a stupid icon over all that pointless Verizon branding. I can root an icon away, harder for a logo.

Because...on Sprint, I couldn't even make calls in my house despite getting a connection on both other ends of the street? Sprint was the worst decision I ever made.

Well, technically he didn't bash it at every chance he gets...

I was on sprint for 10 years and finally got fed up and switched to T-Mobile and couldn't be happier.

I won't bash sprint but their slow data speeds were just unusable for me. Unlimited data plan and I'd barely use 500mb a month cause of how damn slow it was.

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Sprint from my experience is faster than Verizon. Don't know about T-Mo because they don't even have 3G where I live and I live in a pretty medium size city.

I laugh at the one bar of reception... typical Sprint. Of course my laughter was between bouts of vertigo induced vomiting brought on by that icon!

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I...don't think it's as hideous as everyone else seems to. I mean, the current trend of just stamping 4G, 3G, H, LTE and then arrows going up and down seems pretty outdated to me, and something that the average user doesn't even fully recognize most of the time anyway. Showing something that says, hey your phone is connected to the network right now, and its fast/alive, is kind of neat.

Sadly after being on Sprint for the past several years, I'm planning on moving away towards tmobile soon...though spark sure sounds like a move in the right direction.

You would want a useless spinning icon vs one that actually lets you know if you are sending or receiving data?

I... I assumed it only spins when you are sending /receiving data. Otherwise that's really dumb. Like if your cursor on your computer was always in the 'spinning' animation.

From what I've read, it constantly spins. I'm sure they'll change it after enough people make fun of them.

Maybe Sprint should work on there regular LTE. In SLC utah I have found it once! So I ran a speedtest. 1.2mbs wow blazing fast. Im glad I waited for these turtle speeds. Seeing my contract end in march can't come soon enough!

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic. Sprint has been six months away from providing a decent signal for five years now!

If he is picking up LTE signal now then by march it'll probably be much better because more towers will be updated.

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I get it in North Salt Lake every time I come up from Provo. It is also on in Spanish Fork and Tooele. I don't run speed tests, but when I am tethering, I can tell it's pretty quick. No problem streaming Hulu or Netflix on my laptop.

This causes some 4G not to work in some cities, so everyone knows. All tri-band devices are susceptible. Google "Breaking Band:Tri band LTE Issue".

Hey Sprint, let's finish up launching your lackluster LTE program before we launch something else that won't get finished in a timely fashion. On a brighter note, at least they're releasing this in better known cities, unlike it's LTE releases....I'm looking at you Muncie, Indiana. I hope the 3 residents there are enjoying their LTE speeds.

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Really. Muncie Indiana has Ball State University. Check on what type of course they offer . There might be some insight . Also, most large college town get the better signals first . It makes good business sense. And most of Central Indiana has awesome LTE coverage. And probably has better coverage than any other carrier.

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You clearly are just a Sprint basher. I have used LTE and it is blazing fast and not lackluster at all. And the roll out is going fast.

The thing about Sprint Spark is that it is double the LTE capacity as *any* other carrier, and the different variations in spectrum will allow it to penetrate buildings better than any other carrier, as well as have the best capacity for highest volume of data.

It's really some great improvements, but sweet jesus Sprint takes too long to roll this stuff out. Their infrastructure is horrible.

The spinning icon in the notification bar could be distracting and bothersome. The up / down arrows that turn on and off showing data flow are informative; not distracting.

I'll probably just throw the LTE icon back in the systemui.apk to cover this up. Knowing I am on LTE is good enough. I don't need a seizure inducing icon spinning in my face.

Sprint is good at distracting people from the fact their LTE rollout is like a year behind after only about two years. And the fact that their triband phones like the G2 and Nexus 5 can't even get LTE in a lot of LTE areas yet.

How exactly do we enable spark on the G2 im in the LA area where they have it and have never seen that icon pop up.

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I don't know what the issue is? Sprint can roam in Verizon and will get reception and lte where ever Verizon has it. U have to force the phone in to roaming but still that is huge. I am on att don't get lte and even putting it in roaming to pick up T-Mobile lte won't work because they don't use the same bands for lte. So don't get the bitching Sprint. U can roam in Verizon. Seriously that have the biggest lte coverage around. There shouldn't be any issues sprint. My friends don't have any issue. If u don't get reception on Sprint just put it in Verizon. No so damn hard. Seriously.

You do that long enough, and Sprint will terminate your contract. Also, roaming off Verizon is often slower than dry dog shit. Then after Sprint ends your contract, it will conveniently forget to send return kits, and then after it finally does after a couple angry phone calls, Sprint will conveniently forget to log your phones as returned, and BOOM, it hits you with a $700 ETF.

Don't ask how I know.

Sprint sucks.

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Yup, Sprint screwed with me for three months. Many phone calls and broken promises.
Then past due. Filed a complaint on FCC website, emailed the case number to dan@sprint.com and BOOM, less than 24 hours problem solved, with three phone calls to me. Screw Sprint, had they just done what they said then no issue.

Wow, so the urban legends about dan@sprint.com are true! I should have tried that first go, would have saved me over a month of headaches.

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Sprint unlimited doesn't include roaming which is like 200mb limit. People have gone over without issue but do it enough and your service will be terminated.

I don't know what the issue is? Sprint can roam in Verizon and will get reception and lte where ever Verizon has it. U have to force the phone in to roaming but still that is huge. I am on att don't get lte and even putting it in roaming to pick up T-Mobile lte won't work because they don't use the same bands for lte. So don't get the bitching Sprint. U can roam in Verizon. Seriously that have the biggest lte coverage around. There shouldn't be any issues sprint. My friends don't have any issue. If u don't get reception on Sprint just put it in Verizon. No so damn hard. Seriously.

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I first chose and then dropped Sprint just because of that "roaming" with Verizon BS. I'm OTR driver and was getting frustrated more and more.
Software is designed to hang on a Sprint tower as long as possible (you can't opt manually like. GSM unlocked phones) - until you lose the very last bit of signal it connects to Verizon. If VZW signal is 4 bars, as soon as it can get 115db from sprint it's gonna drop to that, making your connection lost. Then maybe keep you in the dark or switch back to vzw
In many states (interstates) for hundreds of miles you roam w vzw and get 5 bars on 3g which makes you think your data speed is fine and then you realize that it's only 54kbs - yep VZW throttles it down big time (I had a chance to compare w Verizon device)
The last straw was when I realized (in the middle of texas ) that I had full signal (roaming) and all of my incoming calls were going straight to my voicemail. I could make calls w no prob but not to receive (when I desperately expected broker to call).
I had HTC Evo, Nexus S and Motorola photon within a year or two and problem was always the same.
Sprint did get better and still improving , but if someone really needs a reliable network (phone calls or data) should go either w VZW or ATT.
I'm paying extra buck for VZW but for my needs it's well worth it. 4g is almost everywhere.

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There is no Verizon/Sprint LTE roaming agreement. All Sprint has with Verizon is a CDMA roaming agreement which expires in July 1, 2016. I tried not to reply but the more I read about what you type about LTE roaming, I just had to make a post to make sure people don't get lead down the wrong path.

If you knew anything about LTE band classes you should know that Sprint LTE phones only have LTE Band 25 which is the PCS G block. Verizon uses LTE Band 13 at 700 MHz and LTE Band 4 at AWS spectrum. So there is no technical way for Sprint to roam on Verizon LTE and vice versa.

With these new Triband LTE phones by Sprint like the LG G2, the Sprint LTE phones will have LTE band classes 25 at 1900 MHz, band class 26 at 800 MHz and band class 41 at 2500 MHz.

Wrong again. Verizon and Sprint do have a roaming agreement.

On May 9, 2006, Sprint Nextel and Alltel agreed on a new Nationwide Roaming partnership.[40][41] The new roaming agreement is for voice and 1x & EV-DO data roaming coverage. This new partnership is different from the voice-only roaming agreement between Alltel & Verizon Wireless in that it is reciprocal, giving Alltel customers access to the Sprint 1x & EV-DO network, and Sprint customers access to Alltel's denser, rural 1x & EV-DO voice and data coverage. This agreement represents the first of its kind between U.S. wireless carriers.[citation needed] Although Alltel merged with Verizon Wireless in 2008, one of the conditions of the merger was that Verizon would honor all preexisting agreements between Alltel and other companies. The roaming reciprocity agreement between Alltel and Sprint is set to expire in 2016.

Sprint and Verizon Wireless have a reciprocal data roaming agreement[42] that allows for the use of Sprint Power Vision content like TV, movie downloads, and stream radio in Verizon 1x coverage areas.

Sprint and US Cellular also have a 1xRTT data and voice roaming agreement.

Now what? Your pint proven wrong.

If you read the post above yours, he said that they do not have any LTE roaming agreements, which they don't. The roaming agreement is just for voice, and also for their 3G EVDO (CDMA) technology.

Live in a suburb out of Boston, my brother has Sprint LTE coverage, his phone is reading 5 bars of LTE and his Max DL speeds are blazing fast, sure they are, he's getting 1.8MB down and 3MB up. That is just pathetic. His smallest YouTube videos just buffer and buffer. He lives on wifi. Just don't understand why people stay with Sprint??? I have tried them all and in my area T-Mobile just blows all others away, Speeds are blazing fast on both HSPA+ and LTE. They have the best of both worlds. My T-Mobile HSPA+ speeds are between 15-20MB down and 6MB up. LTE is right around 30MB down and 15MB up. Real unlimited data without any sneaky throttling. The best of all, the price is unbeatable. I just figured it out people, T-Mobile is the best damn Carrier in the US. This time next year they will be kicking in the front door of AT&T and throwing their asses out. Just my opinion of course.

You should know that LTE signal strength isn't reported by the bars on sprint phones. It only reports voice signal strength.

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Not on the HTC One, as of the last update. If you're on a phone call then the bars display the voice signal strength but if you're using data the bars display the data signal strength.

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Not on the Nexus 5. All Samsung phones show you voice strength though. Makes you actually feel like your phone is doing something, because my S4 always said 3g. Got my Nexus 5 was at work and what do you know 1x data. Awesome Sprint! The greater Sacramento area must not be a very important market for Sprint I guess.

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i live in Tucson AZ and LTE just now is coming to it, its not even official launched, I get 35mbs down 12 up and thats without fine tuned towers.
All u can eat, unlimited data without any throttling period.
Tmobile sucks balls, they have had 4g for almost a year here and speeds are 15-20 down 3-4 up.
There is no unlimited without throttling with any other carrier, att does it, verizon does it and tmobile does it as well.
Sprint is the way to go, tell your brother to throw out the ancient 1st gen 4g phone and get with the times or replace the one he has if its new.

Man you are so misguided. You are only getting those speeds because the network isn't live yet and no one is using the service yet. Wait until it's live and everyone is using it! Then you will see how far that 35/12 gets you! I used to get forty Mb down and eighteen Mb up here in South Florida before the service launched! Now you are lucky to get 1-2Mb down and half that up! Oh if I was lucky I could get six to ten Mb bursts right next to the tower. You know so little about what will happen soon. So if T-mobile is getting "fifteen to twenty down three to four up" that is amazing considering they have been saturated for over a year now! You'll be dreaming of those speeds come this time next year on Sprint. Novice...

Android Central WTF is up with your spam sensor marking speeds as money! WTF!?

Only fast because not many are using it. T-Mobile speeds at that rate are perfectly fine for doing anything (streaming HD video, etc).

T-Mobile does not throttle data anymore, they use to after 2.5 gigs but they stopped.

Wow so much hate for Sprint. I get LTE speeds and have no cap....I use like 10+GB monthly. Have fun trying to use that much data on other carriers. Lol Sprint is #1

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Couldn't agree more. I have had no problems with Sprint's LTE. In fact Sprint's LTE is faster than my cousins LTE on Verizon.

Sorry but even if I was offered gigabit speed data on my phone I'd stick with the 3.5G I have now rather than that icon.

I genuinely couldn't cope with it.

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Don't look at it when you are drinking heavily. You'll get the whirlies

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Can anyone confirm the icon actually spins that fast? I have a feeling it was sped up when turned into a .gif for dramatic effect.

Went to sprint store and they said spark isn't running yet even though they announced it. I call bullshit on that store.

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Just like it was with 4g wimax. 2 yrs after the announcement and all the ads it didn't go anywhere. Lame, just lame.
I hope they can at least cover metro areaa better w that "super new" technology (bragging as they reinvented wireless data)
I was stupid enough once so I gotta be pessimistically cautious this time :-)

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Where are you at? It's not like they announced it and flip the switch for the entire country.

And if you don't already know by now, always take everything you're told at a corporate store with a pound of salt.

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I'm getting a Moto X from Republic Wireless (you can try it out for 30 days, and if you don't like it, you can send it back) so I'll be using Sprint soon. Left them last november for tmobile on the n4 because i've been waiting for years for 4g. My family still has sprint, so I tested out their lte speeds on the iPhone 5, and sure enough, my t-mobile phone was faster. And that was indoors, where t-mo is usually horrible. Ahhh sprint, you never change.

I don't know how they plan to do 50Mb down when on normal 4G LTE 1900Mhz they could barely do 2Mb! They say we have Spark here in South Florida but their normal LTE hovers around 1-2Mb and sometimes it will burst at 6Mb! And many towers simply broadcast LTE but have no throughput whatsoever requiring you to disable LTE if you have to use data. Sprint is a joke. I switched to T-Mobile last week and I get 10-15Mb on HSPDA+ and even faster on LTE! So much better than the 3G LTE speeds on Sprint. Spark, Sprint needs a friggin lightning bolt to complete.


I get 20-30 Mbps pretty consistently where I live. I love Sprint now that they're actually getting things in gear. A couple of years from now they'll be way out front of everyone else. I see the consistent progress so I'm happy to stick with them.

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I've also been seeing very consistent and significant progress where I'm at.. Though I wouldn't go as far as predicting they'll be on top soon. LTE speeds are often quicker than AT&T's here tho, probably because AT&T's saturated in areas (no Verizon on Puerto Rico so they are THE big carrier), and coverage expanded rapidly thru 2013. Building penetration is still weaker than AT&T tho, and I'm not sure if/when we'll get 800mhz, which is what would fix that.

I will say this though, Sprint now has the wireless spectrum AND financial backing to totally turn things around nationwide... And Softbank seems like they mean business. Tmo's plans and general strategy has been more flexible and innovative though... I'm not sure how far any of this will take either carrier in an industry that's largely driven by inertia and marketing.

People often won't switch just to avoid doing any research, it's not terribly easy either unless you catch the right deals or have a Nexus.

What's the cheapest unlimited plan on Tmo btw? I was surprised to find out Sprint has an off contract fully unlimited (text/data) plan for $60.

Why they aren't marketing the heck out of that alongside the Nexus 5, I don't know. I guess there's the fact that the N5 and other recent phones won't see LTE in certain west/north areas where there IS LTE because the 3G circuit switching protocol hasn't been upgraded (older phones used two radios and didn't need it, that also burned more battery tho).

I'm glad Tmo's still offering unlimited plans for those that truly need it, still cheaper than the most basic of AT&T/VZW plans AFAIK.

On Sprint LTE I constantly get over 30megs. I have seen your posts and you are clearly a liar and fool. Sprint LTE is faster than Verizon based on Speedtest down with my cousin and I. Sprint LTE is amazing and you are a lying paid troll.

Also T-Mobile is HSPA+ get it right. Not HSPDA+ HSPA+ stupid fool

Idk about sprint but I know t-mobile only had a signal on interstate 86. At&t and Verizon work good around here until I go home then no provider works.
Currently on straight talk/at&t with my Nexus 4.

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Can anyone explain why HTC phones have that permanent crosshair target in the notification bar?

When I used to have an HTC phone I thought it was for GPS, but it remained after GPS was disabled...

Too much clutter.

I believe its for location services in general. Not just GPS. I could be wrong though. I didn't stay stock very long. Lol

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I noticed LTE in Chicago loop area has improved to a point where I actually have reasonable data speed. My friends with ATT and Verizon are still struggling. I wish my phone (band 25 LTE only) was tri-band, but whatever Sprint is doing... do more of it.

That's funny, because I live in a small town in West Virginia and we just got LTE here a month ago. Sprint rules.

Sprint Spark SUCKS . PERIOD. Slow . unresponsive. I could be surrounded by sprint towers and have the worst signal. Auto updates wipes out contacts. Even backed up contents gets erased. Brand new galaxy mega and I are going to AT&T.
Fuck off Sprint. Your like the SCUMBAG OBAMA....LIARS.