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.
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