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Sprint Announces Nationwide HD Voice, 28 New LTE Markets, More Spark, and 30-day Service Trial

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Sprint dropped a batch of announcements today, at a press event in Chicago. While it didn’t include their CEO referring to competitors as “greedy bastards” or Macklemore, it did feature a new Galaxy S5 Sport variant, along with all sorts of network expansion news. Sprint unveiled a new 30-day trial program as well, so that customers can check out their network and then receive a refund of everything if not satisfied. 

In terms of network announcements, Sprint announced that HD Voice is now available nationwide, with 28 postpaid phones already in position to take advantage of it. They also gave us 28 new LTE markets (Seattle, Cleveland, San Jose, and more) and three new Spark markets (St. Louis, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro, NC).

As for the 30-day service trial, this does not sound anything like T-Mobile’s new Test Drive program. Sprint is simply telling new customers that they have 30 days to try their network. If they aren’t satisfied after those 30 days, they can receive refunds for the device they purchased, plus Sprint will waive all service and activation charges.

More details on the announcements, including the full list of Spark markets can be found below. The full list of LTE cities can be found here.

  • 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.
Via:  Sprint
  • DirkDigg1er

    Its a step in the right direction. Now that the initial network is complete, they can finally focus on coverage and speed. This is situation reminds me of when T-Mobile deployed HSPA and later upgrading speeds gradually to 42mbps. Sprint and T-Mobile will have much better coverage when they deploy low band spectrum by the beginning of next year. Sprint will be the fastest network by next year with all of that 8T8R TDD LTE in place.

    • Phillip

      No offense, but do you realize how many years they’ve been saying that? It’s always “by the end of this year” or whatever. They NEVER fully deploy something they start before they start on something else. IT, NEVER, ENDS. God I hope they don’t & #@* up T-Mobile…

      • DirkDigg1er

        I understand very well but after Softbank and Dish battled for control of Sprint it shed light on the situation. Sprint had sereval issues including NO solid investors, infighting amongst control over Clearwire, and other issues. Now that they are finished with the ground work, I expect to see more changes.

        It’s hard to forget the past but Sprint has made good or exceeded every deadline since the Softbank purchase last year.

  • Chippah

    Funny how i Priced out Sprint and for the same service it actually Costs MORE
    THAN VERIZON! with 95% LESS service in the area..

    GTFO with this Sprint….

  • Dmv soldier

    I can’t even watch youtube videos on my gs5 in my own house on sprints network, they been saying the towers been down for almost ten years now, just awful

  • Lol

    Ooops, looks like Sprint won’t get any new subscribers as long as they have a 30 day guaranteed lol. I bet they do away with it pretty quickly.

  • frankyblike

    Theyre lying i live in San Jose and have not connected to LTE all day.

    Liars

    • sjbushido

      Same here..

  • Robert Macri

    Day before IO and no major leaks? (tablet doesn’t count because its not being released until Nov.) #bend

  • AbeVilla

    Left sprint in Chicago for Tmo. Best decision I ever made with Tmo paying the etc which was $275 for 2 lines. Contracts were almost up and couldn’t wait. Now I have a credit card given by Tmo to take care if the fees, $700 dollars minus $275 and I keep the rest to spend a I please.

  • needa

    yah i have absolutely zero want or need in switching over to a cdma network.

    • T4rd

      At least they are relatively fast to update their phones and you can activate a Nexus 5 on their network though.

      • needa

        the only thing i know for sure about sprint in my area is that they are the only carrier i know of that consistently drops calls. sprint has their place… they are cheap and there are a slew of sprint mvnos. but their network is not for me.

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  • sagisarius

    OMG, they finally have it in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul)! After years of putting it into a suburb and calling it a market… you can finally use LTE in town!

  • Ralph Bretz

    Almost went to Sprint two or three years ago when the rumor was Wi-Max would be making it’s way here. Decided to stay at Verizon and got the GNEX. At te time I could of saved money on my contract with Sprint but now Sprint has raised their prices and probably has the worst network of the Big 4. The Framily plan is stupid as hell.

    • wolfedude88

      I will say that the frankly plan is actually really nice and cheap.

      45 for unlimited everything as Lon. As you have 7 people is really good. Granted sprint needs to be good in your area

      • Ralph Bretz

        Wow that’s not a bad price. That would be worth it. Now that hard part is convincing people to go Sprint

  • Ed Boik

    All these are good things to hear. Now, if Sprint can get their backhaul providers to rollout the fiber as quickly as they’ve been updating towers I’ll be set! Unfortunately, my nearby upgraded tower is still limited to a pitifully slow 3G (0.10-0.30 mbps)

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