OVERLAND PARK, Kan., March 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — GOOOALLL! Sprint (NYSE:S) today scored its biggest and most expansive network innovation in history with the introduction of Sprint Magic Ball. What appears to be a standard soccer ball is so much more, making the world’s first portable all-wireless small cell sure to be a keeper. Each Sprint Magic Ball1 will dramatically improve the network experience for Sprint customers in homes, schools, cars, fields and stadiums across the country, providing high-quality game play, better data coverage and faster download and upload speeds for athletes, spectators and traveling soccer parents.
First available for soccer and expanding to other sports this year, Sprint Magic Ball kicks Sprint’s network plans into high gear. It accelerates the company’s strategy to densify and enhance its Next-Gen Network and build a strong foundation for the launch of Sprint 5G in the first half of 2019. This is no drill: Sprint Magic Ball will be available beginning Sunday and the company expects to have millions in play this year.
“Sprint Magic Ball is literally our franchise player,” said Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO. “It’s changing the game and our network for Sprint customers. Just picture millions in play and on air in homes, parks, sports fields and stadiums big and small. Sprint Magic Ball will enhance network performance for customers today and enable even more exciting wireless experiences when we launch the first 5G mobile network next year. I can’t imagine a sports fan anywhere who wouldn’t want to get in on the action.”
Sprint Magic Ball, like the award-winning Sprint Magic Box introduced last year, connects to a nearby Sprint cell site using Sprint’s ample, dedicated 2.5 GHz spectrum. Wherever it rolls, soars or is juggled, nearby Sprint customers will have blazing fast speeds to stream videos, surf the web and use their favorite apps.
“For more than a year, our team has been working in our labs and on the fields with the goal of replicating Sprint Magic Box in a more portable, playable version to further densify our network and greatly benefit our customers,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint Chief Technology Officer and head coach of the Sprint Magic Ball team. “Far more than a smaller small cell, Sprint Magic Ball will have a giant impact on our Next-Gen Network, particularly as we expand to new sports and launch the nation’s first 5G mobile network.”
Bringing small-cell technology to a soccer ball was no small feat and took a perfect hat trick from Sprint engineers. One, at the core, the team needed to develop a durable small cell that fit within the confines and weight requirements of a regulation-sized soccer ball. Two, the inner-ball technology required ample protection to withstand everything from powerful penalty kicks and hard headers to teething puppies and the occasional car tire. And three, to ensure true portability, the team also incorporated nanocrystal solar cells on the ball’s 32 panels to harness and store power, even while in use. The winning result is groundbreaking technology camouflaged in a top-quality, properly weighted soccer ball that even the pros couldn’t tell apart.
Beginning on April 1, 2018, Sprint Magic Ball will be available for free to Sprint customers in black, white and yellow models, all emblazoned with the product name and iconic company logo.
Soccer is just the beginning for Sprint Magic Ball. Sprint engineers will soon bring their advanced technology to basketballs, footballs, volleyballs and dodgeballs. They expect to perfect miniaturization of the small-cell technology next year to fit into baseballs, tennis, lacrosse and bocce balls, followed by golf and table tennis balls and potentially hockey and shuffleboard pucks. Learn more in this video: https://youtu.be/_Ggpqe49Nt8.
While Sprint does have a long history of technological innovations, Sprint Magic Ball is, well…full of hot air. However, it is true that Sprint is unlocking the value of the largest mobile broadband spectrum holdings in the U.S. and making a major, multi-year investment to deliver improved performance and coverage for its millions of customers.
Sprint’s Next-Gen Network build includes upgrading cell sites to triband service using 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz, and 2.5 GHz, adding thousands of new cell sites to expand coverage, and densifying the network with more small cells to increase capacity and speed. This includes plans for more than a million Sprint Magic Box units deployed across the country in the next few years (and yes, they are real). Next month, the company is also launching Massive MIMO technology, a bridge to the launch of its 5G mobile network in first half of 2019.
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served 54.6 million connections as of December 31, 2017 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Today, Sprint’s legacy of innovation and service continues with an increased investment to dramatically improve coverage, reliability, and speed across its nationwide network and commitment to launching the first 5G mobile network in the U.S. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
1 Don’t give us a red card… Sprint Magic Box is real, but Sprint Magic Ball isn’t. Happy April Fools’ Day!