Sprint confirms Magic Box deployment trial with MasTec

Sprint is testing a program that involves engineering company MasTec deploying the carrier’s Magic Box small cell for some of Sprint’s business customers.

“Sprint is always working to find new ways to help our customers improve their customer experiences, employ more efficient processes and enable faster collaboration so they can do business better; this includes trying new things both internally and with vendors,” Sprint Business representative Justine Fauci wrote in response to questions from FierceWireless on the topic. “We have entered into a trial but can’t comment further at this time.”

According to a report from Wave7 Research, Sprint and MasTec are working to deliver and set up Magic Boxes and smartphones for Sprint’s business customers in markets including Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, Cleveland, Denver and Washington, D.C.

The effort appears to underscore Sprint’s efforts to dramatically increase the number of Magic Boxes deployed throughout the country. The carrier has said that it has deployed more than 100,000 of the devices to businesses and consumers in roughly 200 cities, and hopes to increase that number of more than 1 million units over the coming years.

Sprint said its Magic Box, introduced almost a year ago, provides average indoor coverage of up to 30,000 square feet. “Within minutes of plugging the equipment into an outlet, most customers have a better data experience while streaming videos, surfing the web, and using their favorite online apps and services,” the carrier said. The device is basically a mini base station that can create a bubble of wireless service by connecting to a nearby Sprint tower.

Sprint’s Magic Box efforts dovetail with the operator’s wider work to improve its wireless network and, eventually, launch 5G. The carrier offers 2.5 GHz capabilities on roughly half of its towers today, and will expand those capabilities to almost all of the carrier’s towers in the coming year. It also plans to increase the number of its macro tower sites by around 20%. Alongside that work, Sprint plans to deploy roughly 40,000 outdoor small cell solutions, 15,000 strand mounted small cells through the company’s partnerships with cable companies, and up to 1 million Sprint Magic Boxes.