Sprint Spark tech promises LTE speeds up to 60Mbps, launches next week

Sprint's Spark tech will reach 100 cities in three years (credit: Gabriel Pollard)

Sprint today announced that its Sprint Spark tech, which it says will provide lightning fast LTE service around 50 to 60 megabits per second, will debut on three phones that are coming out next Friday.


Sprint Spark is 'designed to achieve unprecedented speeds by combining three bands of 4G LTE wireless spectrum,' according to the carrier.


The three phones on which Spark will debut are the Samsung Galaxy Mega, the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini and the LG G2.


All three debut next Friday, November 8, though they won't be compatible with Sprint Spark at launch.


Prices and availability

The Galaxy Mega will be available Friday at $199.99 with a contract or $19.59 per month with Sprint One Up. The G2 will cost the same on contract, or $22.92 per month. The S4 mini will be $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate, or $16.67 per month on Sprint One Up.


Out of the box, the three phones hyped by Sprint today won't be compatible with Spark, but the two Galaxy phones will be updated with Spark support 'shortly after launch,' the carrier said.


The G2, on the other hand, will gain its Spark support early in 2014.


The HTC One Max will also be compatible with Sprint Spark. There's no set release date there but Sprint said today that it's 'coming soon.' It will be available for $249.99 with a contract or $25 per month with Sprint One Up.


Faster and faster

In another announcement, Sprint revealed today that its Sprint Spark tech reached over-the-air speeds of one gigabit per second in a Silicon Valley lab.


In its current commercial form Sprint Spark reaches speeds up to 50 to 60Mb per second, but Sprint said it could theoretically get that up to 2Gb per second eventually.


'Sprint Spark is a combination of advanced capabilities, like 1x, 2x and 3x carrier aggregation for speed, 8T8R for coverage, MIMO for capacity, TDD for spectral efficiency, together with the most advanced devices offering both tri-band capability and high-definition voice for the best possible customer experience,' Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in today's announcement.


Sprint Spark will deploy in 100 cities over the next three years with initial availability in five markets: New York, LA, Chicago, Tampa and Miami.


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