Sprint demonstrates 1 gigabit wireless data speeds

Wednesday, 30 Oct 2013 | 2:05 PM ET

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Sprint Corp said on Wednesday it has demonstrated ultra-fast wireless data speeds of 1 gigabits-per-second or about 16 times faster than its current peak speeds, and rivaling the fastest wireline speeds.

The No. 3 U.S. mobile service provider, which is currently upgrading its network, also said that given its spectrum assets, it is "technically feasible" that it could offer speeds as high as 2 gigabits/second.

The fastest speeds that Sprint's existing network reaches is 60 megabits-per-second under a service, currently available in five cities, it calls Sprint Spark, according to the company. Google Inc boasts 1 gigabit/second speeds on a fiber network it built in Kansas City.

Sprint, 80 percent owned by Japan's SoftBank Corp, plans to use the latest technology and airwaves from its buyout of Clearwire Corp to boost its network capacity.

The company said it plans to deploy Sprint Spark in about 100 of America's largest cities during the next three years. The first markets with limited availability are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami.

Sprint expects 100 million people in the U.S. will have Sprint Spark by the end of 2014.

It said that its high-speed service based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology will have coverage for a population of 250 million by mid 2014.

It said that the first smartphones with Sprint Spark capability, that avail of the Clearwire spectrum, should be available for sale in early November.