Sprint could improve coverage of its 4G LTE network if it buys up available spectrum from the FCC. The wireless service provider is currently working to get LTE towers up across the nation to offer customer faster speeds on its PCS network.
As the Verge reported Saturday (Sept. 14), the FCC announced that a major piece of spectrum is going up for bid on January 14, 2014. The auction is for a 10 MHz block of paired airwaves 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz known as H Block. The FCC hasn't held a major spectrum auction since 2008. Sprint can expect to pay a minimum of $1.56 billion for the H Block spectrum to expand 4G LTE coverage.
According to Wireless Week, Sprint already uses a portion of the PCS band and is prepared to bid on the H Block and expressed great interested in the available H Block spectrum. The additional coverage could benefit Sprint with LTE service expansion. Although Sprint sells 4G LTE capable devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the Samsung Galaxy S4, some Sprint customers are unable to access the faster speeds due to poor LTE coverage.
The lack of 4G LTE service on LTE devices caused some customers to question Sprint’s credibility. Many have taken to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction. “@Sprint has done nothing but spin and lie about LTE in Ohio so I am convinced it will not happen, or will when the next tech is here,” tweeted @OhioBrian. Another customer, @CeeWild in the Philadelphia area tweeted, “@Sprint, your service doesn't work. STOP LYING to customers. You don't have LTE and your 3G doesn't even work.”
According to a July 2013 press release, Sprint said its 4G LTE service was expanded to 151 markets, including Philadelphia. “@sprintcare I live in zip 19147 but there is no LTE service in any Philly zip (zips beginning with 191). No service in BK (11205) either,” tweeted @CeeWild.
The latest information on Sprint’s LTE progress is that it’s available in a total of 185 markets in total. "Today’s announcement means that even more Sprint customers can enjoy the speed and power of Sprint 4G LTE – up to 10 times faster than 3G,” Sprint senior vice president-Network, Bob Azzi said Monday (Sept.16) in a press release.