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Summary:

After freeing up spectrum from the Nextel shutdown, Sprint will use the 800 MHz band for LTE coverage. This week, three new devices will be able to use it, along with Sprint’s other bands.

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As Sprint tries to catch up with rivals who already have widespread LTE coverage areas, it also needs devices to take advantage of its network upgrades. On Monday, the carrier announced three: Two from Netgear and one from Novatel Wireless . The trio of mobile broadband devices not only work on Sprint’s current LTE spectrum, but also on the 800 MHz frequency band once reserved for Nextel devices.

Two weeks ago, Sprint shut down the IDEN network for Nextel devices, which frees up the 800 MHz spectrum. It will use that to supplement its LTE coverage at the higher frequencies so all three devices will benefit from that move once Sprint refarms the spectrum. And because it’s a lower frequency, Sprint customers will benefit because radio waves in this range penetrate walls better than the 1900 MHz and 2.5 GHz bands. The devices should work better indoors as a result.

Mifi 500 LTEThe Netgear Zing is a mobile hotspot that will retail for $49.99 after a $50 rebate card while the Netgear U341 USB dongle will cost $19.99 after the same rebate offer. The Zing has a 2.4-inch LCD touchscreen, 10 hour battery life and can share its connection over Wi-Fi with up to 10 devices. Customers can also opt for the MiFi 500 LTE from Novatel Wireless priced the same as the Zing.

All prices are with two-year contracts and a service plan, which starts at $34.99 for 3 GB of data per month. Sprint also offers combined 3G/4G data plans of 6 GB for $49,99 or 12 GB for $79.99. The three new devices launch in stores and online on July 19.

  1. with so much capacity in 2.5 ghz and the fact that 800 mhz will initially be open from lack of compatible devices i wold love to see sprint offer an unlimited data option for these hotspots, or at least some bigger buckets in the 15 gb – 50 gb range that are affordable for people who want go strictly mobile and dumb dsl/cable for laptops/desktops aqs well as tablets/phones.

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    1. This is fantastic news. All 3 of sprint’s LTE customers will be able to use this…

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      1. Well, only off by 55 million customers.

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        1. there is one 4g/lte tower in tallahassee on the side of town no one lives on. 3 or so years ago when i got the first evo i was told 4g would be happening in my town soon. 3 years later we get one tower that services no one. Hooray! Sprint needs to get with the program. Unlimited data means jack if you’re browing the web at less than dial-up speeds.

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          1. DJ
            Network Vision is in progress, 4G LTE will be delivered to all 38,000 Sprint’s sites. As of this summer, Network Vision is over 50% completed. NV project may have started in your area, but most likely waiting for an enhanced fiber back-haul. Check out S4gru.com to track NV in progress/completed.

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          2. well stop living in small metro areas move to los angeles or new york :)

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