Sprint Extends Its Fastest Network to 191 Cities Including NYC

  • LTE Plus will double wireless speeds for data-hungry users
  • Service improvements key for No. 4 carrier to regain customers

Sprint Corp. has expanded its network upgrade -- called LTE Plus -- to 191 cities, which now includes New York, where the company says customers will see their connection speeds double.

After seven years of losses and millions of customer defections, Sprint is attempting a turnaround by cutting $2.5 billion in costs this year and using half-off pricing and network service improvements to revive sales.

The upgrades come as Sprint tries to raise cash and make $2.3 billion in debt payments this year by using its network equipment and spectrum holdings as collateral for loans. Despite having more airwaves than its larger rivals, Sprint is playing catch up on network quality and speed. With LTE Plus, Sprint is putting more of its spectrum to work, allowing each phone to have a higher capacity connection, a potential selling point among its data-hungry mobile video-loving consumers.

By using large towers to feed signals to smaller antennas on street light poles, building rooftops and indoor transceivers, Sprint says it is able to get better wireless coverage into more places where subscribers need it.

This denser signal coverage approach is how wireless networks will have to be designed as connections move beyond people to cars, sensors and appliances that become central to fifth generation or 5G networks, said Gunther Ottendorfer, Sprint’s chief operating officer. “We are building the foundation for 5G,” he said.

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