Today, Sprint announced that it was adding Sprint Spark capabilities to four wildly different smartphones. Spark is the name Sprint has given its version of enhanced LTE that uses three different frequencies bands to maximize the amount of bandwidth your device can pull down.
The new phone updates allow the devices to connect to Sprint’s 800MHz, 1.9GHz, and 2.5GHz frequencies. 800MHz is available thanks to Sprint shuttering its Nextel acquisition and is the primary reason why Sprint is advertising Spark as bringing superior quality and building penetration to its coverage area (lower frequency = superior penetration).
A video full of every possible marketing buzzword was released about the new undertaking:
Phones from HTC, LG, and Samsung will all be in the first wave of devices available to access the enhanced network speeds in the form of the HTC One Max, the LG G2, and Samsung’s Galaxy Mega and Galaxy S4 mini handsets.
Part of the reason for the limited rollout is that Sprint needs to test cell signal hand-off between each frequency layer – the phones need to be able to transition from one to the other without dropping bits.
The Galaxy Mega and Galaxy S4 mini will launch on November 8th with an update to enable tri-band functionality coming “shortly after launch.” The LG G2 will also be available on the 8th, but its tri-band update won’t roll out until sometime next year. Sprint neglected to give a timeline for the introduction of the HTC One Max.