In addition to the Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport that they announced earlier today, Sprint also has a bunch of network announcements for us today. Unlike the company they are looking to merge with, this didn’t see Dan Hesse calling out his competitors and calling them greedy or even mentioning “rape”. We’ll start with the boring stuff here. Sprint now has LTE in 28 new markets. These include Seattle, Cleveland and San Jose, as well as a few dozen others. This brings the total number of LTE markets to about 471. Catching up to Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile now. Also on the LTE front, Sprint announced Spark for three more cities. Spark has been added to St. Louis, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, N.C. HD Voice is also rolling out nationwide, and International WiFi Calling is rolling out over the next few weeks.
Now onto the 30-day trial service. Much like T-Mobile’s Test Drive, Sprint is looking to steal some customers from their competitors as well. So they are allowing you to purchase a device from them and use it for 30 days. If you aren’t satisfied you can return it for a full refund. Sprint will also waive all activation and service charges. Doesn’t sound as enticing as T-Mobile’s since theirs doesn’t involve any money until after the 7 days. But I guess it’s better than nothing. Definitely more than what AT&T and Verizon are doing these days.
Here are some other points from the press release, worth mentioning.
Nationwide availability of Sprint HD Voice, a new Sprint standard for crystal-clear voice calls. Sprint’s HD Voice provides a fuller, more natural-sounding voice, plus noise-cancelling technology that virtually eliminates background noise from places like busy roads or crowded restaurants.1 Sprint currently supports 28 HD Voice-capable postpaid smartphones and 33 prepaid phones. The company estimates approximately 16 million customers are currently using an HD Voice enabled device.
4G LTE in 28 new markets, including Seattle, Cleveland, and San Jose, bringing Sprint’s nationwide 4G LTE footprint to 471 cities covering more than 225 million people. Sprint expects to reach 250 million with 4G LTE coverage by mid-year.
Sprint Spark in three new markets (St. Louis, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, N.C.). Sprint Spark is an enhanced LTE service that’s built for data and designed to deliver average wireless speeds of 6-15Mbps and peak wireless speeds of 50-60Mbps today on capable devices, with increasing speed potential over time. Sprint plans to reach 100 million people by year-end with the service. The capability is available in the following 27 cities: Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Chicago; Dallas; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Fort Worth, Texas; Houston; Jacksonville, Fla.; Kansas City, Kan./Mo.; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Newark, N.J.; Oakland, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; Provo, Utah; Salt Lake City; San Antonio; St. Louis; Tacoma, Wash.; Tampa, Fla.; Trenton, N.J; Waukegan, Ill.; Winston-Salem and Greensboro, N.C., and West Palm Beach, Fla.
8T8R radios will soon be deployed for improved coverage and signal strength. The new 8T8R radios transmit more data and boost network reliability, giving Sprint Spark customers better coverage and higher data speeds at 2.5GHz. Sprint is currently field testing its 8T8R equipment and expects to begin commercial deployment this summer.
International WiFi calling, slated to be available in the coming weeks, will enable customers to make calls and send texts via WiFi in more than 100 countries. The service makes mobile communications possible virtually anywhere in the world and in nearly any network situation.