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Sprint Spark gets turned on in Chicago; tri-mode LTE brings faster data speeds

Sprint Spark gets turned on in Chicago; tri-mode LTE brings faster data speeds
Employing a tri-band LTE technology, Sprint Spark has gone live in Chicago providing users there with faster 4G LTE data speeds and an improved voice experience. Among the improvements will be better indoor penetration of signals, and better capabilities in high traffic areas. The downside to the service is that Sprint customers need to use specially equipped handsets in order to access the service.

Right now, models like the LG G2, Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, Samsung Galaxy S4 mini and the HTC One max will connect to Sprint Spark. While the roster of enabled handsets will grow, the carrier plans on deploying Sprint Spark in 100 top U.S. markets over the next three years. Sprint customers in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami will eventually be enjoying the service.

Sprint Spark offers three different LTE bands, and using the service's technology, the circuits inside the phone decide in the blink of an eye which of the three bands is best suited to what you are using the phone for. The process happens quickly, in the blink of an eye. By matching the activity with the proper frequency, network traffic is less congested resulting in faster speeds. The customer will also notice improvements in how his phone handles certain tasks. Even those using 3G phones should notice an improvement in Sprint's service in the area.

"Sprint’s investment in upgrading our network infrastructure has required a massive team of dedicated engineers and technicians to systematically install new, modern 3G and 4G LTE-capable equipment. This process involved equipping Sprint cell towers in the Chicago area with state-of-the-art network technology. It took us more than a year to complete and, although there have been some service interruptions, we expect our customers will find the improved Sprint wireless experience worth it."-Bob Azzi, Chief Network Officer, Sprint

If you're a Sprint customer in the Chicago area with one of the phones that support Sprint Spark, we would love to hear about any improvements you've noticed in your service. You can drop us a line in the box below.

source: Sprint

23 Comments
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posted on 10 Dec 2013, 11:32 2

1. johnbftl (Posts: 220; Member since: 09 Jun 2012)


The Nexus 5 is also a Spark capable phone.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 11:33

2. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 909; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)


Sprint offering Spark service to phones they are cattle hearding consumers to for their partners. The Nexus 5 is a Spark device, and being that I pay my bill for service, and I have a Spark capable device I should not be blocked because I did buy their sponsored welfare policy phone

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 11:42 1

3. AdamLeonard (Posts: 45; Member since: 24 Aug 2011)


The Nexus 5 is supposed to get an upate that will activate Spark

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 11:44 5

4. Doakie (Posts: 1305; Member since: 06 May 2009)


Anyone have any real speed tests to prove their claim? I automatically assume anything Sprint says is an empty promise. I was let down by them too many times over the 12 years I was their customer.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 17:02

11. Tsoliades (Posts: 214; Member since: 22 Dec 2012)


Agreed. I just quit being their customer today.
Totally worth it. Sprint is terrible and overpriced. Every year, they say they'll fix the current issues on their network and they never do. Even if you do get faster speeds, the coverage still sucks. With one bar of AT&T LTE on my Nexus 5, I get 46 mbps down.

posted on 19 Dec 2013, 15:04

23. optionsgeek (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Dec 2013)


I'm in Chicago and saw 15 mb/s down on my google store purchased Nexus 5. I don't see that all the time, but it did make me do a double-take. I'm usually in the 3-5 mb/s range on LTE.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 11:59 2

5. T00muchF00D (Posts: 98; Member since: 27 Nov 2011)


Doakie I feel ya. I wanted a windows phone when it came out on sprint, I went up there and said I'd like to upgrade to the HTC arrive. And. They wouldn't sell me it telling me "we don't know what your talking about" after YEARS of being let down I marched down to at&t and bought a HTC Surround and had HSPA speeds and my bill was $20 more but hell I got what I wanted, better phone and better speeds. Sprint speeds are awful, sprint service are awful, sprint deals with OEMs are awful for the consumer, sprint is awful all the way around.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 12:20 2

6. techaman (unregistered)


yeah now spark will bring us all to 4megs so much better then my 300kb lte now.
f you sprint see ya once my contracts over in a few months. waste of 13 years with sprint.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 12:22

7. techguymatt (Posts: 18; Member since: 04 Nov 2013)


Whyy wouldnt they include the Note 3 in this?

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 13:24

9. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 909; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)


greed.....Samsung and Srpint f the consumer on the note 3

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 14:46 2

10. DonkeySauce (Posts: 160; Member since: 03 Dec 2011)


The Note 3 was in development before the service was ready

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 19:04

14. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 909; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)


So was the mega.....the service was being implemented for sure the last 6 months, and they new tri band service was coming. It's just a gimmick to perpetuate sales for next year. If people bought a tri band Note 3 this year sales may be low next year for no need to upgrade unless a must have tech was developed into the note 4.

The GS4 sales were not that high because of minimal upgrade specs....people are smarter than they think. Sprint users wanted a tri band note, and GS4 because the news was out months ago about tri band service. They made the Mega tri band and the Note 3 single band, and all bets were off for sales by Sprint tech savy users because of lack of tri band support.

We are waiting for a tri band SG 5 or Note 4, while the Nexus 5 has got many of our attention for now.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 13:00 3

8. CEMIII (Posts: 110; Member since: 26 Jun 2013)


I still have the Arrive & rollin soon as the 929 comes out.
Sprint is all talk AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon always back up their claim

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 17:28

12. Libra1985 (Posts: 47; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


BLAH, they'll say anything to lure or maintain customers

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 17:30

13. lilg29 (Posts: 89; Member since: 14 Sep 2011)


There is literally no need to work on sprint spark when they haven't even lit lte in major cities like san diego... Its been a decent year sprint and nothing yet...

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 19:50

15. ojdidit84 (Posts: 405; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


That's why I left Sprint for VZW. We didn't get FailMax when some backwater ass farm towns in central Cali got it and here it is now, we have no LTE in San Diego still. 8th largest city in the country and Sprint for whatever reason can't give us 4G. Makes absolutely no sense...

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 23:48 1

17. wumberpeb (Posts: 443; Member since: 14 Mar 2011)


Something is seriously up with your phone...San Diego is lit up EVERYWHERE, go check out Sensory.com and check out all the purple on the map. Far better covered than in my area in upstate NY

Either you need to turn LTE back on your phone, or get a new one

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 23:54 1

19. wumberpeb (Posts: 443; Member since: 14 Mar 2011)


A little late on the edit: Sensorly.com...not sensory

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 21:37 1

16. axllebeer (Posts: 266; Member since: 05 Apr 2011)


There is no reason that any phone released in the last 6 months or so shouldn't have "Spark" capability. That said, it's not the case. Look at how long it took them to release the BlackBerry Q10!! And it's not tri-band capable. Shameful. That all said, does it even matter? I get 20 mps on LTE with my Q now and at least it's a world phone capable of GSM roaming I guess. It's good enough, but that's not the point.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 23:51

18. wumberpeb (Posts: 443; Member since: 14 Mar 2011)


That's on Blackberry if you don't have triband LTE capable chips, but the device was out for a little while before hitting Sprint. Its too early to worry about it now anyways, nobody has Spark yet. By the time you can get a new phone, you'll actually have the service to utilize it

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 02:19

20. fur0n (Posts: 69; Member since: 13 Jun 2012)


I live in Salt Lake City, Utah and about a week ago sprint turned on their sprint spark here as well, I got my MSL code and manually turned on tri-band on my Nexus 5 and I am receiving about 30Mbps down and about 10 Mbps up.

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 17:13

21. lsutigers (Posts: 759; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)


You have to make sure you are on band 41 (2.5ghz Clearwire spectrum) which is where the really high speeds live. If you were connected to any other band the speeds will be good but not as fast.

Spark is not just all about speed. Its the combination of 2.5ghz spectrum for very high speeds that are easily upgradeable with carrier aggregation, the 1900mhz band for standard use and the 800mhz band for in building penetration. It's about having a really fast network that uses 3 bands intelligently, based on application, demand and load.

posted on 12 Dec 2013, 02:41

22. McZelAir (Posts: 3; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)


Can't we just call this 'WiMAX 2.0'? I wonder if Sprint ever gets tired of their CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!!!!!.......which never really amounts to anything because it was SO AND SO'S companies fault. Honestly, I'd be okay with a working 3G speed from these guys at this point. The only real consistency Sprint's network provides for me is .02 mbs! But hey, its Unlimited right? Facebook upload post here I come!

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