By Stephen Schenck | October 30, 2013 3:10 PM
The spread of LTE has brought higher data speeds than ever before to our smartphones, yet carriers aren’t resting on their laurels; we’ve already been talking about where things can go from here, like with the LTE-Advanced support that’s come to phones like the Galaxy S 4. Today we heard about something a little different from Sprint, with news of its own high-speed LTE service, dubbed Spark.
The way Sprint describes it, the key to Spark is its tri-band operation, taking full advantage of Sprint’s spectrum holdings and seamlessly transitioning the LTE connection between them for optimal signal strength. It’s launching in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa, and Miami, where Spark-compatible phones should offer peak speeds of 50 to 60Mbps. That’s just for starters, though, and Spark is supposed to be capable of speeds as high as 1Gbps, with the possibility for 2Gbps further down the line.
To take advantage of these speeds, you’ll need the right hardware. Starting November 8, Sprint will sell the Galaxy S 4 Mini, which will support Spark right out of the box. It also starts selling the LG G2 and Galaxy Mega 6.3 on the same day, though their Spark support will arrive via future updates. Similarly, the HTC One Max will come to the carrier later this year, and it too will get Spark support thanks to an update.