updated 05:05 pm EST, Tue December 10, 2013
Technology allows multiplexing of LTE bands, faster downloads
Sprint announced it will begin delivery of the Samsung Galaxy S4 with the enhanced LTE Sprint Spark to its sales channels in the next few weeks. Sprint Spark allows tri-band devices, like the the S4, to support active hands-off mode between 800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz, and provide data session continuity as the devices move between spectrum bands.
Sprint plans to deploy Sprint Spark in about 100 of America's largest cities during the next three years, with initial availability in five markets now. The first markets with limited availability are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami. Sprint 4G LTE service is expected to be available by mid-2014 to approximately 250 million Americans, and Sprint expects 100 million Americans will have Sprint Spark or 2.5GHz coverage by the end of 2014.
Sprint Spark provides the capacity to greatly improve the performance of video and other bandwidth-intensive applications while opening the way for future applications. The technology is designed to support online gaming, virtual reality, advanced cloud services and other applications requiring very high bandwidth.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 with Sprint Spark will be available for $250 with a new line or eligible upgrade and two-year service agreement. Alternatively, the phone is $25 per month with Sprint's One Up financing program, which adds the fee to the ongoing monthly service plan.