Sprint Corp (NYSE: S) announced on Tuesday its plans to launch its 5G mobile network to customers in select U.S. cities. The network will launch throughout the first half of 2018, beginning in April.
Sprint will begin with customers in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles before rolling out the network to Atlanta, Houston and Washington D.C. later in the year.
Customers will experience faster data speed and capacity through Sprint’s Massive multiple input multiple output (MIMO) technology. Throughout the year and into 2019, the company plans to deploy thousands of Massive MIMO radios to increase network capacity for millions of customers nationwide.
Massive MIMO is a critical bridge to Sprint’s 5G network. 5G technology promises to connect people, places and billions of things with blazing fast speed, ultra-reliable, low-latency wireless service. This breakthrough technology will enable new levels of innovation and progress including cloud robotics, telemedicine, connected cars and drones, augmented and virtual reality and more.
“Our deep spectrum position gives us an incredible advantage no other carrier has in the U.S. We’re making significant investments using state-of-the-art technology, and working with leading chip and handset partners to deliver an incredible Next-Gen Network for our customers.” said Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO.
All Sprint customers using a 2.5 GHz (band 41) device will benefit from the increased capacity and speed.
Sprint will deploy 64T64R (64 transmit, 64 receive) Massive MIMO radios using 128 antennas working with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung Electronics to deliver a nationwide 5G network.
Sprint is also working with Qualcomm Technologies, which the company hopes to launch 5G mobile devices. Qualcomm recently announced its Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem which supports Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum band.
AT&T also announced its plans to launch its 5G network last week, which also includes Dallas and Atlanta. The company has plans to launch its 5G network nationwide by the end of the year after having trial tests throughout last year.
“The race to 5G is heating up, and let me be clear, today’s announcement is a huge step toward Sprint being first to offer a 5G mobile network,” said Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO.