On Wednesday, Sprint's unveiled its Magic Box, a free small cell that promises to improve the data experience within a home or business "in a matter of minutes." According to a blog post announcing the device, it will require no rental fees or costs for labor and implementation.
Once a customer receives the Magic Box, they simply place it next to a window and plug it into an outlet. Setup for the device requires no additional router, no wired backhaul, and no Wi-Fi, the post said.
Upon powering up, the Magic Box will automatically connect to a Sprint cell site and offer the user installation steps to finish the formal setup. It only takes "a matter of minutes," the post said, for the data experience to be improved with range of the device.
On average, the coverage area for the Magic Box is around 30,000 square feet, according to a Sprint press release. If the building is smaller than that, the Magic Box will improve data signal for neighboring buildings as well, extending up to 100 meters outside of the building it's housed in.
In addition to improving coverage, Sprint said that the unit will boost download and upload speeds by 200% on average. Using a technology called LTE User Equipment (UE) Relay, which is traditionally used for wireless backhaul, the Magic Box establishes a more efficient connection to the Sprint network on its 2.5 GHz or 1.9 GHz spectrum. Using the 2.5 GHz channels, the unit can also improve network efficiency by cutting down on noise and interference, the post said.
Deployment of Sprint Magic Boxes have begun in US cities like Denver, San Francisco, Indianapolis, New York, Chicago, and Houston. There is no clear timeline for other cities yet.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
1. Sprint has launched its Magic Box, a free LTE small cell that improves data coverage and boosts upload and download speeds by 200% in a home or office.
2. The Magic Box works in buildings up to 30,000 square feet, and can extend up to 100 meters outside of its parent building.
3. The Magic Box is part of Sprint's greater network densification strategy, which includes its gigabit efforts.
- Verizon Fios finally gets gigabit speeds, slashes price in half in these 8 regions (TechRepublic)
- Sprint launches Magic Box, an LTE small cell to boost coverage, network (ZDNet)
- Comcast launches pay-as-you-go prepaid internet service (TechRepublic)
- Sprint delivers mixed Q4 but narrows losses (ZDNet)
- Lenovo launches e-SIM laptops to keep business travelers connected internationally (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.