By leveraging spectrum found in three different bands (including city-friendly 2.5GHz. spectrum acquired from Clearwire), Sprint's (S -0.1%) Spark 4G LTE service will offer download speeds of 50-60Mbps in the near-term and (with the help of carrier aggregation) possibly 150-180Mbps in two years, says CEO Dan Hesse at a UBS conference.
Sprint is in the midst of rolling out Spark in a handful of major cities (service was just launched in Chicago), but Hesse promises much wider availability next year. He also admits Sprint's breakneck LTE buildout has caused some near-term service quality issues; Consumer Reports recently ranked Sprint dead last among U.S. mobile carriers in a customer service survey.
Verizon, which continues to have a 4G coverage edge over rivals, is in the midst of tripling its 4G capacity in major markets.
Separately, Sprint has priced its debt offering. The company is selling $2.5B worth of 2024 notes carrying a relatively steep interest rate of 7.125%.