US mobile operator Sprint, which is poised to merge with larger rival T-Mobile US, is showing no signs of curtailing its 5G ambitions, and has disclosed a number of new target markets ahead of its planned commercial launch in the first half of 2019. New markets will include New York City; Arizona’s largest city, Phoenix; and Sprint’s hometown of Kansas City. Previously, Sprint named Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington DC as its initial wave of 5G markets.
In other 5G news, US mobile market leader Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam told CNBC that the telco plans to bring fixed-wireless 5G to Los Angeles this year, in addition to the previously named launch market of Sacramento. The Sacramento service uses pre-standard 5G equipment, and Verizon has said it will upgrade to standards-based 5G when that equipment is ready. McAdam has indicated that two more as-yet-unnamed 5G cities will be announced later this year.
In other US news, Verizon Wireless has successfully tested LTE using the 3.5GHz Citizen Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band, in association with Ericsson, Qualcomm and Federated Wireless. The trial, which took place in Florida, used a combination of Verizon AWS and 700MHz spectrum, aggregated with 50MHz of CBRS spectrum, and generated download speeds of up to 790Mbps. The tests also encompassed 256 QAM functionality. The cellco expects 3.5GHz-compatible LTE devices to reach the market before the end of 2018.