Sprint this week made a pair of announcements that sees it growing several existing lines of business. First, the company introduced the third generation of its in-home Magic Box. This new small cell is smaller and more powerful than its predecessors. To start, it uses 4×4 MIMO, higher order modulation (256QAM), and three-carrier aggregation for LTE-Advanced performance. It connects to nearby Sprint cell sites and boost in-home or in-business coverage and speeds by as much as 250%. This third-generation box can switch to WiFi for backhaul when cellular coverage isn’t available, and includes an ethernet port to supply access to wired devices, such as streaming TV boxes. A color screen lets users see how the Magic Box is performing, and two USB ports allow owners to charge their devices. Sprint says some 260,000 Magic Boxes have been deployed in more than 200 cities around the country, helping densify its network. The new Magic Box will be available later this year. Separately, Sprint has expanded its collaboration with Walgreens. The company will install Sprint Express kiosks in 80 Walgreens stores in the Chicago and Dallas-Ft. Worth markets. Sprint Express will offer Sprint devices, services, and customer service. Sprint says the on-site staff will be able to offer advice on mobile plans, phones, and accessories, as well as sell postpaid or prepaid wireless service. The kiosks should be open by the end of the year.
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