Sprint unveils new 1Gb ‘Spark’ wireless service

By , Oct 30, 2013

sprint store

Sprint today revealed that it has developed a new wireless technology that could allow it to surpass the data speeds of its competitors. Dubbed ‘Sprint Spark,’ the ultra-fast LTE service is currently capable of delivering peak speeds of up to 60Mbp .

But the company says that’s just the beginning. Spark’s speed will increase as the technology matures, and will eventually reach staggering 1Gbps download speeds. And to prove that, Sprint demonstrated a 1Gbps connection today at one of its labs…

From the press release:

“Sprint (NYSE:S) demonstrated live today 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) over-the-air speed at its lab near Silicon Valley, Calif. This was the highlight of a day that showcased the innovation and what’s possible on the Sprint network as the company unveiled technology with the potential to surpass wireless speeds of any U.S. network provider.

Named Sprint Spark, the super-high-speed capability demonstrates 50-60 Megabits per second (Mbps) peak speeds today with increasing speed potential over time. Given Sprint’s spectrum and technology assets, it is technically feasible to deliver more than 2Gbps per sector of over-the-air speed.”

How does it work? Sprint Spark combines multiple LTE technologies in various bands in order to deliver high speed Internet via tri-band devices. And these devices will be capable of seamlessly switching between these bands without interruptions or slowdowns.

Will it work with iPhone? Unfortunately, no. Existing smartphones won’t be able to take advantage of Spark’s technology, and Apple is most   definitely not on the list of handset manufacturers set to release compatible devices over the next few months.

Where can you get it? The good news is that Sprint isn’t wasting any time deploying the tech. It plans to deploy Spark in 100 major American cities over the next 3 years, with initial availability in five markets today: New york, L.A., Chicago, Tampa and Miami.

While I applaud Sprint for pushing the envelope here, you have to wonder if it’s a very smart move. After all, the carrier has a shaky track record with new wireless technologies (see WiMAX), and it’s not even close to finished rolling out its current LTE network.

On that front, Sprint says its 4G LTE service now covers over 230 markets in the US and will be available to approximately 250 million Americans by mid-2014. The company announced earlier today it sold 1.4 million iPhones last quarter, posting $383m in profit.

What are your initial thoughts on Sprint Spark?

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • Charlie

    Yeah this would be nice if you could actually use their data. Its awesome having unlimited data but when you can’t use it half the time it’s pointless. Inb4 this takes them 10 years to roll out because they haven’t even completely expanded their regular LTE.

    • Jerry

      Everyone I know with sprint can’t use their data 60% of the time

      • Charlie

        My friend just switched from Sprint to Verizon. He is very happy now that he has LTE.

      • coLin

        :))) happened to me 80% of the time. But I switched to StraightTalk

      • Jack Wong

        I am 5gb-10gb per month, my wife is 1-2GB per month with no video streaming.

    • Jack Wong

      Exactly… this is just funny that… no matter 1GB or 10GB speed, if the 1GB data plan cost 10bucks per month… then we have to keep our eyes on the usage…

  • Solowalker

    Not a good idea. Using any non-standard technology/frequency has failed at very least Sprint, Nextel, and T-Mobile in the past. It complicates things for the carrier and handset makers who have to make devices uniquely compatible. Apple sure won’t jump on this as they’re trying to make as few different models as possible. T-Mobile had to promise to re-farm their oddball frequencies to be compatible with iPhones before they could start selling them.

    Rather than wasting time, money, and resources on this they should just build up their LTE and maybe LTE Advanced. With LTE’s max throughput at somewhere around 300 Mbps and other carriers currently getting in the neighborhood of this 60 Mbps demo speed, “Spark” is not very impressive nor is its promises compared to LTE Advanced.

    This may be the move that kills them.

    • coLin

      they are just desperate because people are complaining about their signal. so this is just commercial (like samsung adding 60 megapixel camera or octa-core processors)

    • Jack Wong

      I see another Tmobile lol

  • Pitchy

    At my work we have a Sprint tower on top of our building and over the last two weeks they have just now started deploying LTE. I was with Sprint for about 10 years until the iPhone 3GS came out and I switched to AT&T.

    Working in IT at a broadcast company and doing a lot of work with our engineering department… I know that the towers broadcast out and not down, but I found it absolutely ridiculous that there was a tower 175 feet above my head and I constantly dropped calls. So my frustration with the service (both signal and customer service) along with the iPhone forced me to switch and I have been super happy with AT&T. I have great signal in my office. I can’t remember when I last dropped a call with AT&T.

    So if they are planning this super LTE network and are just now upgrading non-major markets to LTE… it makes me wonder if they can really get this done in 3 years and if so, why even bother installing basic LTE now and not load up planned upgrade sites with their super LTE???

  • chris125

    Hopefully this turns out better than their Wimax. Plus they need to worry about more LTE coverage first before adding this.

  • Tom

    i have tmobile and the speeds suck i get 1 mps download on files i miss my sprint with evo 3d

  • Tom

    sprint is fast on downloads

  • Jerwyn Feria

    Sprint lost its market in Hawaii. I don’t know if they could make a comeback when they finally do cause they are the most expensive plans on the islands.

  • Alex Zavala

    I got sprint, and I didn’t even know about spark and then one day I decided to do a speed test I was surprised, and when I only have one bar of lte I still get on average 20mbps