Sprint announced today that it is expanding the footprint of its Spark high-speed wireless network to six new markets, bringing the total number of markets with Spark to 11. In addition, Sprint plans to bring Spark service to its Virgin Mobile prepaid brand this quarter.
The carrier initially launched the Spark service late last year in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa, and Miami. It uses Sprint's various network frequencies together to provide dramatically faster network speeds and improved coverage in congested areas. Since then, a number of smartphones and other devices that are compatible with the Spark service have either launched or have been announced, including the HTC One max, LG Nexus 5, and LG G Flex. The new Spark markets are Austin, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.
Virgin Mobile's first Spark device will be a mobile hotspot, called the Netgear Mingle. The Mingle has a 1.77-inch LCD and up to 12.5 hours of battery life. It's not clear exactly how much the device will cost or when it will be available for purchase, nor do we know when Spark smartphones will be available from Virgin Mobile.