Sprint has commercially launched its 5G mobile network on schedule in parts of Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Kansas City, with 5G smartphones available from today (31 May 2019), claiming ‘the largest initial 5G footprint in the country’. In the coming weeks, Sprint plans to expand coverage to areas of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C., covering approximately 2,180 square miles and 11.5 million people across nine US markets.
A press release breaks down Sprint’s initial 5G city coverage as: Atlanta (150 square miles, 565,000 people); Dallas-Fort Worth (575 square miles, 1.6 million people); Houston (165 square miles, 800,000 people); and Kansas City (225 square miles, 625,000 people).
Sprint is using 5G Massive MIMO radios (based on 64T64R – 64 transmitters, 64 receivers) from Ericsson operating on its 2.5GHz band spectrum, deployed on the cellco’s existing 4G LTE cell sites, providing ‘a nearly identical footprint for both 2.5GHz LTE and 5G NR coverage’. Via dual-connectivity technology – Evolved-Universal Terrestrial Radio Access New Radio Dual Connectivity (EN-DC) – Sprint is delivering LTE and 5G simultaneously to customers’ devices.
As previously announced, Sprint’s first 5G smartphone is the LG V50 ThinQ 5G, alongside the HTC 5G Hub device, while the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G handset will be available to its users ‘this summer’.