There has been speculation over the 4/29 Sprint event named "Hear It For Yourself" that it will be the official launch of HD Voice service on the network. There may be other topics discussed such as WiFi calling and VoLTE roadmap discussion etc.
Recode is reporting that Spotify and Sprint will announce a partnership supporting carrier billing and possibly discounts for premium Spotify service.
So now that iDen is shutdown, when can we expect a 800mhz rollout? From my understanding, the equipment is capable and it is as simple as a software upgrade. Is this something that involves a technician visiting the site?
The iPhone 5 goes back to a multi-model scheme thanks to the disparate bunch of LTE bands everyone is using. I took a look at the breakdown, as well as at the non-LTE radios, to see what this would mean for Sprint...
First, what bands does each iPhone support? Apple has a list:
Version #1 (A1428) is, more or less, the AT&T edition. 700MHz lower B+C and AWS
First off, looks like AT&T still wants to do LTE in AWS. Second, while the iPhone only has quad-band HSPA+ (like the iPad; 850/900/1900/2100), its HSPA and LTE bands line up with T-Mobile's refarmed PCS H+ and upcoming AWS LTE. Which means of course that, if you can get an unlocked A1428 iPhone, it will probably be faster on T-Mobile than AT&T. Just like the 4/4S are when using TMo PCS H+ today.
Version #2 (A1429 CDMA) is the Sprint + Verizon edition. 2100, 1800, Cellular, upper 700, PCS+G
This is the most interesting model of the three IMO. Despite SpectrumCo, there's no AWS here for Verizon. There is, however, support for a band that Verizon probably won't launch for several years: LTE in Cellular. I'm sure this was due to KDDI needing the band, but it's entertaining nonetheless. And of course Sprint's current LTE deployment is fully supported, though LTE in SMR or 2500 isn't.
On the non-LTE side, the phone is the only mass-market phone sold in the US that supports EvDO Rev. B. This, like the inclusion of LTE-850, is due to KDDI/au in Japan. On the other hand, Apple is using correct nomenclature for the 850 (vs. 800) band now, designating everything as 850MHz except CDMA on this model. Which of course indicates that the iPhone will (finally) support Sprint's 1x SMR network (so iPhones won't be at a coverage disadvantage to anything Sprint has sold in the past year from another manufacturer). The iPhone 5 also supports HD voice, which I'm guessing is the same thing that is supported on the Evo 4G LTE. So look for Sprint to be the first carrier in the US to support HD voice on the iPhone.
Version #3 (A1429 GSM) is the international LTE version. 2100, 1800, Cellular
Nothing is surprpising here; the iPhone may not nab everyone's current and future LTE bands, but having three international bands supported is a happy medium for a world phone. My guess is that this model is just the CDMA model with the additional bands/techs disabled in software, since it shares a model number with the CDMA version and has a subset of the CDMA version's bands. This means that Apple is only producing two versions of its newest phone (and two versions of its newest iPad) for the entire world...one for AT&T (okay, not quite but close) and one for everyone else in both cases.
This state of affairs leaves smaller carriers in a bit of an odd predicament. The AT&T edition of the iPhone has AWS and 700 lower B + C bands built in for LTE, which is good for T-Mobile (though TMo won't get to use its AWS HSPA+) and better for someone like CricKet or MetroPCS than before (since both will deploy LTE on 1700). However there's still now AWS CDMA on any iPhone, nor is there an iPhone with both AWS and PCS LTE support. This presents a no-win situation for someone like US Cellular, who has CDMA on 850 and 1900 (A1429) but will deploy LTE across 700 (including lower-A at times) and AWS (A1428, except for the A band) and in certain cases 850 and 1900 (A1429). Of course, US Cellular would have to pick A1429, but then they will have to live with a phone that is 3G-only in any area where their cellular + PCS holdings are,'t enough to support both CDMA and LTE.
But hey, at least Sprint now has an iPhone that can do LTE and CDMA just as well (band-wise) as any other currently-available Sprint phone.