LG's G2 to support Sprint's tri-mode LTE networks

LG Electronics' newest flagship smartphone, the G2, will support all three LTE spectrum bands Sprint (NYSE:S) will soon be using--800 MHz, 1900 MHz and 2.5 GHz. Although Sprint has long said it will deploy LTE across the three bands, LG's support of Sprint's spectrum portfolio indicates that device makers are actively seeding Sprint's customers with tri-mode smartphones.

Sprint said Wednesday it will launch the phone "later this year."

The news comes after Samsung Electronics recently introduced new versions of its Galaxy S4 and S4 mini that are capable of using both FDD-LTE and TD-LTE. Sprint's current 1900 MHz LTE service is FDD and Clearwire's 2.5 GHz spectrum will run TD-LTE service.

Steve Elfman, president of network operations at Sprint, said in late July that Sprint has been refarming the 800 MHz spectrum it used for iDEN service for CDMA voice service and capacity, and that in the late third quarter Sprint will begin deploying LTE service on its 800 MHz spectrum. He also said that in the fourth quarter Sprint will launch smartphones that are capable using Clearwire's 2.5 GHz airwaves, and that in 2014 all Sprint devices will be able to access that spectrum (though he declined to say if the iPhone will as well).

Following the close of its acquisition of Clearwire in July, Sprint added Clearwire's 2.5 GHz spectrum to its LTE coverage portfolio. The first devices to access Sprint's 2.5 GHz LTE service are the NETGEAR Zing Mobile Hotspot, the NETGEAR 341U USB stick and the MiFi 500 LTE by Novatel Wireless.

The additional support of 2.5 GHz spectrum in smartphones is notable in light of Sprint's plans to deploy the 2.5 GHz spectrum on all 38,000 of its planned Network Vision cell sites in a nationwide rollout. And, due to the weaker propagation characteristics of 2.5 GHz, Sprint will also deploy small cells and other sites beyond the 38,000 Network Vision sites the company has mapped out. Previously, Sprint had said it would use Clearwire's spectrum as a "hotspot" LTE network to offload traffic in urban markets.

For more:
- see this GigaOM article
- see this Phandroid post

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