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Sprint Spark enhanced LTE brings 1Gbps speeds to smartphones

Sprint Spark Enhanced 4G LTE

Enhanced 4G LTE service has finally started making its way around the globe, and now Sprint has announced Spark, its own technology that will debut alongside its first tri-band smartphones this fall. Samsung’s Galaxy Mega and Galaxy S4 mini will be the first phones to take advantage of Sprint’s enhanced network and will launch on the carrier on November 8th for $199.99 and $99.99 respectively. The tri-band service will also be available on new LG G2 hardware on the same day, followed by the HTC One Max when it releases.

According to Sprint, the service can reach over-the-air speeds of up to 1Gbps, a huge leap over what mobile devices are now capable of. The press release states that Spark-enabled hardware will support hand-off modes between the 800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz spectrum bands as well. Sprint will start deploying the Spark service in the biggest cities throughout the U.S. this year, beginning with New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami on October 30th. The full press release follows below.

First Sprint Tri-band Capable Smartphones Arrive on Nov. 8

Just in time for the holidays, Sprint customers will be able to enjoy the debut of the first smartphones that will take advantage of Sprint SparkSM (enhanced LTE), a technology designed to achieve unprecedented speeds by combining three bands of 4G LTE wireless spectrum available to Sprint’s network – HTC One max, LG G2, Samsung Galaxy Mega™ and Samsung Galaxy S® 4 mini. The first smartphones to bring Sprint Spark to life, these devices are expected to give users the best experience by shifting from one band to another, depending on what speed is needed for the application in use at a given moment.

These tri-band devices support active hand-off mode between 800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz providing data session continuity as the devices move between spectrum bands. Sprint Spark provides the capacity to greatly improve the performance of video and other bandwidth-intensive applications, while also opening the way for futuristic applications. Today, wireless networks and smartphones can book flights, locate children, store photos and music, video chat and much more. Sprint Spark is designed to support a new generation of online gaming, virtual reality, advanced cloud services and other applications requiring very high bandwidth.

Samsung Galaxy Mega and Samsung Galaxy S 4 mini launch on Friday, Nov. 8, and are expected to become tri-band enabled with a software update shortly after launch. LG G2 will also be available on Nov. 8 and is expected to become tri-band enabled with a software update in early 2014. HTC One max is coming soon.

Sprint plans to deploy Sprint Spark in approximately 100 of America’s largest cities over the next three years, with initial availability in five markets today. These markets include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami.

New Supersized Smartphones
Do you love HTC One but wish the screen was just a little larger? Wish no more! The HTC One max has a 5.9” full HD1080p display, UltraPixel camera, large 3300mAh embedded battery and quad-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 600 processor featuring a 1.7GHz CPU enabling jaw-dropping performance, ultra vivid videos and booming sound. HTC One max is also equipped with the unique features users have come to love such as HTC BlinkFeed™, HTC BoomSound™ and HTC Zoe™. Coming soon, HTC One max will be available for $249.99 with a new line or eligible upgrade and two-year service agreement or $25.00 per month with Sprint One UpSM (excluding taxes).

The first U.S. smartphone to launch with the new Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 processor, LG G2 is remarkably thin and light and features a 5.2-inch, Full HD 1080p IPS display with a near-zero bezel. LG G2 also features a new rear-key design that is natural and comfortable to hold. With a long-lasting battery and powerful quad-core processor that is more than up to the challenge for graphics-intensive gaming, LG G2 provides features that maximize on-screen multitasking like QSlide 2.0 and Slide Aside for the simultaneous use of multiple apps. A 13-megapixel camera with OIS also makes it easy to capture important holiday moments. LG G2 will be available beginning Friday, Nov. 8, for $199.99 with a new line or eligible upgrade and two-year service agreement or $22.92 per month with Sprint One Up (excluding taxes).

A multitaskers dream, Sprint brings customers yet another powerhouse device to join the Samsung Galaxy family. Samsung Galaxy Mega unites smartphone portability with the immersive experience of a tablet. Thanks to its crisp 6.3-inch HD touchscreen display and easy to navigate buttons, Galaxy Mega’s hybrid design lets users go from a conference call with a client to a video call with family without the hassle of having to carry two devices. Galaxy Mega will be available beginning Friday, Nov. 8, for $199.99 with a new line or eligible upgrade and two-year service agreement or $19.59 per month with Sprint One Up (excluding taxes).

Pocket-sized portability
Is a small device more your style? Samsung Galaxy S 4 mini features many of the exciting features of Samsung Galaxy S 4 in a sleek, compact design. This Android™ 4.2.2, Jelly Bean, smartphone offers a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED™ HD display, 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 16GB memory and 1,900mAh lithium-ion battery. It’s also loaded with a 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera and innovative camera features for vividly capturing life’s most important moments. Samsung Galaxy S 4 mini will be available beginning Friday, Nov. 8, for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate via reward card1, with a new line or eligible upgrade and two-year service agreement or $16.67 per month with Sprint One Up (excluding taxes).

This first crop of tri-band smartphones will be available in all Sprint sales channels, including Sprint Stores, Sprint Business Sales, Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) and Web Sales. Customers purchasing any of these smartphones can take advantage of the new Unlimited, My Way(SM) and My All-in(SM) rate plans featuring unlimited talk, text and data while on the Sprint network for as little as $80 per month (excluding taxes and surcharges).

Customers can take advantage of Sprint One Up, a new program that offers customers an affordable option to upgrade their device more frequently. With Sprint One Up, participating smartphone customers get unlimited talk, text and data for an introductory rate of $65 per month – a $15 per month savings off their Unlimited, My Way standard rate plan and Sprint’s guarantee of unlimited talk, text and data for the life of the line of service. Sprint One Up is also available for smartphones on the My All-in plan.

To participate, customers simply purchase an eligible smartphone and agree to 24 monthly installment payments for the device with no financing fees. For a limited time, customers can enjoy no down payment for the device. After 12 consecutive payments, customers can give back their current device and upgrade to a new smartphone.

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.