New higher frequency to support current 800 and 1900MHz network

Sprint has finally completed its acquisition of Clearwire, and the carrier has announced today that it is quickly integrating the new spectrum to its expanding LTE offerings. Adding to its primarily 1900MHz-based network, Sprint has recently added 800MHz spectrum from its iDEN network shutdown and is now adding in new 2.5GHz spectrum from Clearwire to help out further. The high frequency spectrum isn't super useful for building penetration, but Sprint plans to use it in densely populated cities to support the use of 800MHz, which excels at building penetration.

As is usually the case when adding new frequencies to a network, the first devices to take advantage of the network are MiFi's and data sticks. Sprint is announcing that the Netgear Zing Mobile Hotspot, Netgear 341U USB Stick and MiFi 500 LTE will be available starting July 19th and will support all three frequencies.

Edit: While the devices that can utilize this new spectrum are available soon, the new spectrum itself isn't -- and won't be ready for a while. Apologies for any confusion.

Now that Sprint has nailed down a generally long-term frequency plan, we should start seeing other devices hitting the carrier with support for the additional bands in short order. The end result should be more consistent LTE service in more places for Sprint customers.

Source: Sprint; Via: FierceWireless


Reader comments

Sprint to utilize Clearwire 2.5GHz spectrum for LTE starting this week


No, Softbank partnered with Sprint. Sprint is still written on the door. I'll give it a year. Tops before Sprint is no more.

Well, no, SoftBank purchased the majority of Sprint and Masayoshi Son is in charge with Dan Hesse still running things under him.

Are you talking about the Sprint brand?

Does this mean that phones which already work on LTE won't be able to utilize these frequencies such as my Galaxy S3.

Sorry I'm not very knowledgeable in this area?

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I believe it has the 800 and 1900 MHz radios already. You will benefit from the decommissioning of the iDen network on the 800 MHz frequency as it will now move to support LTE. However, you don't have a 2.5GHz radio in the S3(hardware not a software issue), so you won't be able to utilize that frequency with your current phone.

Existing phones only access the 1900MHz frequency. There could be a few by years end that get 800 and maybe the new 2500. But I wouldn't expect the big names until their next round of phones come out in 2014.

The previous poster was correct. It has 800 and 1900 radios but no 2.5.

2.5 is good in a supportive role but the 800 is what we really want and need for the building penatration as the article stated

Posted via

My understanding is like this. Take the S3 for example:

800mhz - Recently closed down IDEN Network
1900mhz - Voice/Data/LTE
2500mhz - Nothing live

800mhz - Voice/Data/LTE (but do not believe we have an LTE radio at this frequency)
1900mhz - LTE
2500mhz - LTE (but no LTE radio at this frequency)

So basically we should see better building penetratiton for voice and 3G data

Not quite correct. I've updated for you...

800mhz - voice only rolling out now, LTE coming this year (more coverage)
1900mhz - Voice/3G/LTE exists today, current LTE rolled/rolling out now
2500mhz - Nothing live, WiMAX only today

800mhz - Voice/LTE (most phones <2 years old do 800 voice, need tri band for LTE)
1900mhz - Voice/3G/LTE
2500mhz - LTE (need triband phone), will add capacity where needed

LTE-A will allow double capacity in same amount of spectrum
VoLTE will allow replacing CDMA voice but is probably years away

This will position Sprint to compete with ATT/VZW on coverage and beat them on capacity. They should significantly pass Tmobile on coverage/capacity. But Sprint needs to prove they can execute nationwide.

Almost by not quite. The 800mhz frequency that the phone support at for roaming. The iDen network was running on the esmr bands. Current sprint phones don't support that band.

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Incorrect. Most phones within last 2 years do support 800Mhz SMR voice but not LTE or 3G. Phones older than 2 years support 800 roaming only. Sprint has already turned on 800 voice in IL and PA and many users are reporting significant improvement. SignalCheck app confirms they are on 800 SMR. Check S4GRU 800Mhz forums to validate. That site has incredible detail about Sprint rollout.

Don't you guys know that sprint destroyed all iden equipment because they took the 800 MHz & turned it to cdma! How else could we get ev-do 3G & yes NYC has 800 MHz already active & if you check out sensorly it's freaking covering NYC like a blanket! A green one since that's the color they use to rep 3G CDMA.

Don't you guys know that sprint destroyed all iden equipment because they took the 800 MHz & turned it to cdma! How else could we get ev-do 3G & yes NYC has 800 MHz already active & if you check out sensorly it's freaking covering NYC like a blanket! A green one since that's the color they use to rep 3G CDMA.

Does this mean that phones which already work on LTE won't be able to utilize these frequencies such as my Galaxy S3.

Sorry I'm not very knowledgeable in this area?

Posted via Android Central App

Most devices in last two years can do 800/1900 voice but only 1900 LTE. You'll see big improvements with voice coverage through rest of year but need new phone coming later this year to get 800/1900/2500 LTE.

You'll have to buy a new phone that will access these new LTE frequencies. And we might have to wait a while for that.

This is good news for Sprint customers as a whole but there are some issues with this. Current devices can't use this tri band spectrum such as the htc one which a lot of people just got into contract for. Also, the network vision upgrade is so slow it will take years to implement properly. Hopefully devices like the htc one max will be tri band compatible as it has a supposed September release.


I'm in a LTE market with good coverage but still poor 3g on Sprint. All though I see some advantages from upgrades, the down sides for you mentioned was still be there at least 1-2 yr. My upgrade has been available for a month but my next phone will be on T-Mobile cause they already have great 4g in Chicago's north suburbs, LTE is creeping up to us fast as well. I will have the best phone anytime I want for cheaper then Sprint's new plans even with phone installments and JUMP.

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Sprint will be turning on 800LTE later this year, which Tmobile won't be able to compete with (on coverage). 800 Voice is already turned on in your area. Tmobile might be a better deal but it depends on phone as you have to essentially pay full price for phone.

Dude you really know your stuff. (pizzabossdwr)

Posted via my themed "WHITE DRAGON" LiquidSmooth Sprint GSIII.

T-Mobile's network is better then Sprint is now is this area. Sprint's new pricing raises my bill $30. So I would save money have insurance and I can upgrade anytime I please ( with a new down payment of course. So no upgrade when I don't have the extra $$.

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I wonder how tri-band LTE will be when Sprint utilizes carrier aggregation and all these bands are combined.

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Does this mean building penetration is going to get better or worse for Spring customers?

800 voice is already turned on broadly in IL and PA. Many users on Sprint forums are reporting significant improvement, basically filling in the gaps. 800 will be turned on broadly by end of year, wherever there is an LTE site.

There is an app called SignalCheck that will tell you if on 800. Instead of 1xRTT (1900), it will show 1x800.

Just installed SignalCheck (Lite Version) on my Sprint & T-Mobile phones. Great app. Probably upgrading to Pro. I like the idea of being able to keep tabs on my carrier's network without jumping through a lot of unnecessary hoops. ;-)

So.. living in Tucson with a Galaxy S4 would I benefit from this? Mind you, none of Arizona has 4G LTE yet from Sprint :\ thanks in advance

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S4 does 800 voice and 1900 voice/3G/LTE. No phone today does tri band LTE, only hotspots can. The S4 all most phones in last 2 years do support 800 voice and current LTE phones only do 1900 LTE. Rumor is there will be an S4 variant and/or Note 3 with tri band coming later this year. As well as an HTC One variant.

So then, when I hear phrases like "penta-band", that doesn't mean tri-band with two more bands added to it?

Is there a way to tell what band a persons phone and carrier use for voice and what band they use for data. Does the app you mentioned above tell you this info. For instance I have the Nexus 4 and I'd be curious to know if it is like the S4 with 800 voice and 1900 3G/HSPA+.

4G tower turned on today near work in central Omaha. Hopefully sign that injection of cash is speeding up deployment. Not holding my breath though. Back home in West O and back to 14.4k dataspeed 3g signal again.....

I have been all over God's country with Sprint in the past several months and have been amazed at the high level of 4G coverage everywhere I go on my Note 2. The speeds have been great, better than my contemporaries with vzn or att, with better coverage than each in different markets. Not sure why Sprint is not announcing these markets but 90% of them are not listed yet. A broker friend of mine thinks this is genius business move for them with all of the recent deals taking place. The only thing I know for a fact is they are kicking butt and taking names.

Sprint usually has a plan, when their stocks get higher I'll bet they'll sell more & softbank's share will grow smaller over time. This isn't the first time Sprint's been in a bad situation & manages to get out clean.. Besides softbank doesn't own sprint only shares & clear is owner by sprint not softbank.