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Sprint Adds Six Markets to Initial Spark Launch; Mobile Peak Speeds Up to 60 Mbps Now Available in 11 Markets

Spark speeds coming to Virgin Mobile USA's Broadband2Go customers with NETGEAR® Mingle™ Mobile Hotspot, the first U.S. tri-band device designed for no-contract customers

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Proving that everything really is bigger in Texas, the "Big D" now enjoys the unprecedented network speeds of Sprint Spark(SM). In addition to Dallas, Sprint today announced the availability of Sprint Spark in Austin, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio as well as Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Sprint Spark is a powerful network capability that will deliver unprecedented wireless data speeds of up to 60Mbps and support a new generation of online gaming, virtual reality, advanced cloud services and other applications requiring high bandwidth.

Spark is now available in the following 11 markets:

  • Austin, Texas
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York                     
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Tampa, Fla.

"Sprint Spark is all about performance," said Stephen Bye, chief technology officer for Sprint. "When we bring Spark into a market, it is like trading up to the fastest sports car on the showroom floor. I am excited to see where we will take this technology in 2014 because I know we are bringing our customers an unprecedented network experience." 

These amazing speeds are possible because of the rollout of Sprint's Network Vision program, a complete upgrade of the 3G network and deployment of 4G LTE, which also benefits Sprint's no-contract brands Boost Mobile, payLo and Virgin Mobile USA. As part of that program, Sprint is redeploying its 800MHz spectrum for LTE and 3G, delivering improved in-building coverage for voice and data. Sprint expects the rollout of Network Vision to be largely complete by mid-2014.

Sprint plans to deploy Sprint Spark in about 100 of America's largest cities during the next three years. By the end of this year, 100 million Americans are expected to have Sprint Spark coverage.

Spark Speeds on Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go

Building on Network Vision's multimode capability, Sprint Spark is designed to accommodate all of Sprint's spectrum bands on a single device. These tri-band smartphones give users the best experience by transparently shifting from one band to another, depending on such factors as location or type of application.

NETGEAR® Mingle™ Mobile Hotspot will be the first tri-band device available for prepaid customers in the United States. It will be available this quarter on Virgin Mobile's competitive Broadband2Go no-contract plans, which include daily service on Sprint's 3G/4G LTE networks (where available) for $5/day. Broadband2Go also offers monthly data plans for $25 with 1.5GB or $55 with 6GB.

Mingle lets you take Wi-Fi with you, accommodating up to 10 wireless devices simultaneously. It is a dual-mode 3G/4G LTE device, providing up to 12.5 hours active time (1,800mAh battery) and featuring secure access with password protection, plus a 1.77-inch LCD display screen.

Next Wave of Postpaid Spark Devices Debut

Announced at the end of 2013, LG G2 will become tri-band enabled through a software update later this month. Nexus 5 by LG and the following two devices will soon join the initial group of Spark-enabled devices:

  • LG G Flex is the world's first curved, flexible smartphone and the first device that is curved to follow the contour of the face. Unique to Sprint, G Flex will take advantage of the Sprint Spark network. G Flex helps to deliver a more immersive, cinematic experience, with the result being the most comfortable viewing angle for watching videos or playing games. Setting a new milestone in the evolution of the smartphone, G Flex reduces the distance between one's mouth to the microphone when the device is held against the ear. The curved design also offers a more reassuring grip and fits more comfortably in one's back pocket or jacket. G Flex also comes equipped with a 3,500mAh battery and offers up to 29 hours of talk time. For more information, please visit www.sprint.com/lggflex.com.
  • NETGEAR LTE Gateway 6100D brings the benefit of Sprint Spark's improved in-building coverage to business and enterprise customers. It is a fixed wireless router designed to bring high data bandwidth and 24/7 connectivity to fit any business need. This device is the perfect solution to back up primary service to avoid outages or to replace primary Internet service in the office because it can connect up to 80 Wi-Fi users while using the high-speed capabilities of Sprint Spark. It comes preloaded with many powerful enterprise features, including Power over Ethernet, WAN to WWAN failover, TR-069 remote management, advanced Wi-Fi encryption and VPN capability.

Additional information for both devices, including specs, pricing and availability, will be shared at a later date. Sprint currently offers six Spark-enabled devices, including Samsung Galaxy MEGA™, HTC One® max, and NETGEAR® Zing Mobile Hotspot™.

Customers with Sprint Spark-enabled devices can select the new Sprint Framily Plan – a revolutionary pricing program that lets consumers decide who they consider family. The Sprint Framily Plan is available to new and existing customers. The more people added to the group, up to 10 phone lines, the greater the savings for everyone on the plan. And because each account can be billed separately, customers can choose who is in their group. 

For one line of service, new Sprint customers pay $55 per month per line for unlimited talk, text and 1GB of data. For each additional new Sprint customer who joins the Framily group, the cost per person goes down $5 a month up to a maximum monthly discount of $30 per line. Build a group of at least seven people and everyone gets unlimited talk, text and 1GB of data for $25 per month per line (pricing excludes taxes and surcharges). All members of the group can customize their plan to meet their unique needs. For only $20 per month per line, Framily members can buy up to unlimited data plus get a new phone every year. Plan members can share the savings, without the hassle of sharing a bill. Each account can be billed separately. Unlimited features are while on the Sprint network.

For details on Sprint's 4G LTE rebuild and rollout, go to www.sprint.com/network. For 4G LTE maps, visit www.sprint.com/coverage. Customers, consumers and members of the media are encouraged to check back regularly as all maps will be updated and revised as the network's coverage expands.

About Sprint

Sprint (NYSE:S) offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint served more than 54 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2013 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint as the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all 47 industries, during the last five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.



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