Can Sprint Spark a Comeback With Tri-Band Devices?

A new technology unveiled by Sprint that delivers 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) over-the-air speed has the potential to surpass wireless speeds of any U.S. network provider -- at least for now. Dubbed Sprint Spark, the wireless carrier demonstrated its enhanced LTE tech at its lab near Silicon Valley, Calif. on Wednesday.

The super-high-speed capability demonstrates 50 to 60 megabits per second (Mbps) peak speeds today with increasing speed potential over time. Given SprintEUs spectrum and technology assets, the company said it is technically feasible to deliver more than 2Gbps per sector of over-the-air speed.

EUSprint Spark is a combination of advanced capabilities, like 1x, 2x and 3x carrier aggregation for speed, 8T8R for coverage, MIMO for capacity, TDD for spectral efficiency, together with the most advanced devices offering both tri-band capability and high-definition voice for the best possible customer experience,EU said Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint.

Tri-Band Phones Rolling Out

Sprint plans to deploy Spark in about 100 of AmericaEUs largest cities during the next three years. Sprint 4G LTE service will be available by mid-2014 to about 250 million Americans, and Sprint expects 100 million Americans will have Sprint Spark or 2.5GHz coverage by the end of 2014. The first markets with limited availability are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami.

Spark combines 4G FDD1-LTE at 800 Megahertz (MHz) and 1.9 Gigahertz (GHz) and TDD1-LTE at 2.5GHz spectrum, TDD-LTE technology (2.5GHz), and carrier aggregation in the 2.5GHz band. These spectrum assets, technology and architecture are designed to work with tri-band wireless devices. Named for their ability to accommodate multiple spectrum bands, tri-band devices support active hand-off mode between 800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz. The result: data session continuity as the device moves between spectrum bands.

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