Sprint’s faster 4G LTE network called “Spark,” which uses the 800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz frequency bands for faster LTE data speeds, is now active in Chicago.
The company first introduced Spark and devices that will run on the network back in October. The initial Spark phones with tri-band LTE support include the LG G2, Galaxy Mega, Galaxy S4 mini and HTC One Max, though new devices are expected as Sprint continues to increase its Spark footprint as its tries to compete with faster networks from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. Sprint says it hopes to activate 100 markets in 2014, and that the first markets will include LA, Tampa, New York and Miami, in addition to the recently activated Chicago network.
“This process involved equipping Sprint cell towers in the Chicago area with state-of-the-art network technology,” Sprint’s chief network officer Bob Azzi said. “It took us more than a year to complete and, although there have been some service interruptions, we expect our customers will find the improved Sprint wireless experience worth it.”
Verizon, meanwhile, has started to activate its new AWS spectrum, allowing it to provide LTE data speeds up to 80Mbps in some markets, which means it’s pushing the bar even higher for competing carriers.