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Sprint is planning to hire more than 100 new jobs in the city of Detroit by mid-2019.

Catching up on investments to its competitors, the telecommunications company said it is planning to add 20 more stores in the city by the end of 2019 and is investing $300 million in network upgrades.

Sprint plans to add nine new Sprint and Boost Mobile stores in Detroit and 14 more across the state by the end of this year. In 2019, an additional 11 stores are expected to open in Detroit and 24 more across the state. In total, the company expects to add more than 300 new jobs in the state by mid-2019. Those interested can apply on the company's website.

"Customers like speaking to retail representatives when making a larger purchase like a device or data plan because it can be quite complex," said Yui Namiki, a Sprint spokeswoman. "They like going to a physical store to check out new features and ask questions. The new locations will make it more convenient."

Over the past three years, the company has worked toward investing more than $300 million in almost 700 upgrades across Michigan, more than 500 of which have been so far completed in east Michigan. Nearly half of those upgrades come from mini macros, which seek to improve data throughput in dense areas such as at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport and Little Caesars Arena.

The company also said this year it has provided 1,576 devices, hotspots and tablets to Detroit Public Schools students who live in low-income housing and receive free school lunches. According to the Federal Communications Commission, 70 percent of school-age children in Detroit do not have access to the internet at home.

The initiative seeks to bridge this gap and others like it by providing one million devices to students across the country over five years. When the program launched last year, about 2,000 Detroit students benefitted.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

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