Sprint installing signal boosting hardware in Apple Stores – Report

Mon, Sep 5, 2011

News, Rumors

There are certainly no shortage of reasons to believe Sprint will be carrying the iPhone 5 when it launches early this October. The latest sign pointing in that direction comes courtesy of Beatweek which reports that Apple has started contracting out the installation of signal boosting repeaters in its stores so that prospective Sprint iPhone users can give the network a good test run.

According to the source, who resides in Austin, Texas: “One thing I can tell you is that the electrical contractor that I work for is contracted to install Sprint “repeaters” at The Domain. There is a Apple Store at The Domain. One of the “repeaters” is to be installed INSIDE the Apple Store. There is to be a total of 5 “repeaters” installed. The equipment is CDMA and 4G (Sprint)”…

Repeaters are essentially mini cell towers that amplify cellular signals within the confines of a single building. Wikipedia describes how they work thusly, “The systems usually use an external, directional antenna to collect the best cellular signal, which is then transmitted to an amplifier unit which amplifies the signal, and retransmits it locally, providing significantly improved signal strength.”

Now as far as we know, there’s only been one reoprt thus far of repeaters being installed at Apple Stores. That said, we don’t want to speculate that this is a widescale effort across all of Apple’s nationwide retail stores but we’ll certainly keep an eye out for similar reports over the next few days.

Again, evidence pointing towards an iPhone 5 launch on Sprint is quite substantial. A few months ago we reported that Apple was looking for a carrier engineer for a position coincidentally close to Sprint HQ. This was followed by reports that Apple had installed Sprint cell towers on its Cupertino campus and that the device was already in advanced testing stages at both companies. Most recently, an internal memo from Best Buy pointed to Sprint carrying the iPhone 5 during the first month of October.

At this point, putting a few bucks on a Sprint and iPhone marriage seems like a safe bet.


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