Sprint recently turned on its 5G service for the first time in four U.S. markets—Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Kansas City. The carrier expects to launch 5G in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, DC in the coming weeks. At that point, Sprint’s 5G wireless service will cover approximately 2,180 square miles and 11.5 million people across the nine market areas.
“Sprint 5G is here and we’re proud to give customers true mobility and the largest initial 5G footprint in the country,” Sprint CEO Michel Combes said in a release. “This is a momentous day and just the start of what we can achieve with T-Mobile, together building a better, faster, nationwide mobile 5G network that benefits all U.S. businesses and consumers.”
The next generation of wireless will power numerous experiences for Sprint’s customers, including gaming and entertainment services, Internet of Things (IoT) and business applications. Massive MIMO serves as the Sprint 5G foundation—a technology that will significantly improve the carrier’s network capacity.
Sprint is using 64T64R (64 transmitters 64 receivers) 5G Massive MIMO radios from Ericsson in the four markets. The radios support split-mode, which will allow Sprint to deliver LTE Advanced and 5G NR service at the same time. The carrier’s 5G Massive MIMO radios run on its 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum and are deployed on Sprint’s existing 4G cell cites, which provide an almost identical footprint for both 2.5 GHz LTE AND 5G NR coverage.
“Ericsson is working together with Sprint to unleash the power of 5G on Sprint’s network,” Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson said in a release. “Our 5G Massive MIMO radios will provide Sprint users with a true next-generation experience, enabling advanced applications for businesses and consumers.”
Meanwhile, Sprint is creating one of the most expansive 5G device portfolios in the U.S. so customers have more options to access 5G. Sprint customers will be able to experience 5G mobility with the LG v50 ThinQ™ 5G, HTC 5G Hub and this summer, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.
“We’re thrilled to offer the first truly mobile 5G network experience in the U.S. with innovative devices from some of the world’s leading manufacturers,” Sprint CTO Dr. John Saw said in a statement. “With Massive MIMO and our mid-band spectrum, Sprint customers will have a great experience that isn’t limited to small pockets of millimeter wave 5G coverage.”
By using a key 5G technology, dual connectivity, (ENDC), Sprint can deliver 4G LTE and 5G to its customers’ devices, simultaneously. This will allow faster downloading and better overall experience on capable devices.
Sprint will also offer a new plan for its 5G-enabled devices, Unlimited Premium, which comes with unlimited data, talk and text nationwide, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Twitch Prime, Tidal Hi-Fi an a 100 GB LTE mobile hotspot. Unlimited Premium will cost $80 per month with AutoPay for one line.