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Sprint Debuts Four Spark LTE Phones with 50 Mbps Speeds

Sprint is attempting to up the ante when it comes to network speeds. The carrier has just unveiled the first phones that will take advantage of its tri-band enhanced LTE network known as Sprint Spark, promising up to 50 Mbps downloads.

With Spark, Sprint claims that devices running on its network will eventually reach a speedy 1Gbps connection. The first few phones, however, which include the LG G2, Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, Samsung Galaxy Mega and HTC One Max, will  be able to reach impressive speeds of  50 Mbps. This means that a select few devices will be able to switch between the three 4G LTE bands owned by the carrier, which run at speeds of 800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz.

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Sprint claims that its Spark feature is designed to broaden the functionality of smartphones, giving users more speed for a wide range of activities.  The spectrum flexibility is meant to enhance video performance, online gaming, virtual reality and other bandwidth-intensive services.

Both the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and Samsung Galaxy Mega will land on Sprint’s network Nov. 8, and the carrier says a software update will bring Sprint Spark support shortly after. The LG G2 will get the update in early 2014, and Sprint has said that the HTC One Max “is coming soon.”

The announcement comes just after Sprint had fallen into last place in the network speeds race. Earlier this month Verizon began beefing up its LTE network with its acquired AWS spectrum, while T-Mobile continues to expand its own rapidly growing 4G LTE network across the U.S. After suffering from the shutdown of its Nextel network and losing more than 300,000 customers, Spark is Sprint’s bid to make its service more appealing than the competition.