Sprint has announced that it will launch Massive MIMO TD-LTE connectivity in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles in April, before extending the upgraded networks to Atlanta, Houston and Washington, DC later this year. Sprint says that it will deploy 64T64R (64 transmit, 64 receive) Massive MIMO radios using 128 antennas, working in conjunction with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung. All radio equipment is said to be software-upgradable to 5G (without additional tower climbs), and will support a split-mode service, enabling Sprint to offer both 4G LTE and 5G using the same infrastructure.
Sprint claims that the Massive MIMO rollout is a key component of its overarching 5G strategy, with CEO Marcelo Claure commenting: ‘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. Our deep spectrum position gives us an incredible advantage no other carrier has in the US.’