Sprint is joining other US carriers who claim they are getting ready to deploy faster 5G networks. Sprint announced it is working with its parent company Softbank, along with Qualcomm, to get both its network as well as supporting devices up and running on its 2.5 GHz 5G network by late 2019.
Sprint didn’t offer many details about its plans for 5G, saying only that it is partnering with Softbank and Qualcomm to develop those technologies. That includes the use of the 3GPP New Radio standard in the 2.5 GHz Band 41. Sprint did not offer any color on if its “late 2019” due date for 5G means that its network will offer that support nationwide, or just in a few markets at first. The International Telecommunication Union says it will finalize the official 5G specifications worldwide by November 2017.
Sprint did not offer any color on if its 'late 2019' due date for 5G means that its network will offer that support nationwide, or just in a few markets at first.
Sprint is already working on improving speeds on its current 4G LTE network. Earlier this year, it began adding support for Gigabit Class LTE speeds in New Orleans, with plans to offer support for those same speeds in high-traffic locations in the US later this year. Those speeds will only be available for owners of certain smartphones that have the right hardware, such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 that’s available on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.
Verizon Wireless was the first US carrier to announce its own 5G specifications, but there’s no word on when the network itself will become available. AT&T has been promoting its “5G Revolution” network in recent weeks, but it’s still using its current 4G technology. T-Mobile says it will deploy its 5G network in select markets in 2019, and nationwide in 2020.