Sprint 5G Overview

January 23, 2019

With one of its largest investment in years, Sprint is building a blazing-fast, high-capacity mobile network that will enable the next wave of wireless innovation. Sprint mobile 5G is going to create incredible new connections to people and things, services and opportunities that will allow our customers to live a better life.

Mobile users will have fiber-like speeds in the palm of their hand to go and be connected anywhere to everything – people, machines, devices and more. Our lives – at home, at work, at play – will get radically faster.



Sprint plans to begin its mobile 5G rollout in the first half of 2019. Its first nine 5G markets include some of the largest cities in the country:

  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Kansas City
  • Los Angeles
  • New York City
  • Phoenix
  • Washington, D.C.

The company’s 5G technology rollout is underway with equipment deployed and currently being tested in multiple cities across the country. Sprint 5G will begin with contiguous footprints in the downtown areas of these first nine cities, allowing for its on-the-go customers to stay connected to 5G through the city center. For example, in LA, Sprint will offer mobile 5G service all the way from Dodgers Stadium to Santa Monica.


Massive MIMO

Game-changing Massive MIMO technology and Sprint’s super-fast 2.5 GHz spectrum are the foundation of Sprint’s award-winning approach to 5G. Sprint is deploying 64T64R (64 transmit, 64 receive) Massive MIMO radios using 128 antennas, working with technology leaders Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung Electronics.

Massive MIMO is capable of delivering up to 10 times the capacity of current LTE systems, significantly increasing data speeds for more customers in high-traffic locations. Sprint’s Massive MIMO radios support split-mode, enabling Sprint to offer 4G LTE and 5G simultaneously on the same radio. Massive MIMO radios Sprint is deploying on its sites today will only require a software upgrade to serve 5G in 2019, a cost-efficient strategy.

Michael Thelander, President, Signals Research Group, noted the following in a November 29, 2018 report: “The benefits of Sprint’s 64T64R Massive MIMO deployment are real and meaningful, generating significant increases in downlink and uplink throughput. Link budget tests revealed close to triple-digit percentage improvement in uplink data speeds. These exciting results are just the start, with future product improvements in 64T64R expected for both LTE and 5G NR.”

In early January, Sprint announced it had reached a significant milestone on its path towards launching mobile 5G service beginning in the first half of this year. Together with Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, the companies completed the world’s first over-the-air 5G data transmission using 2.5 GHz and Massive MIMO on Sprint’s live commercial network.

Earlier Sprint reached a significant milestone in September 2018 when the company teamed up with Nokia to show the first live demonstration in the U.S. of a 5G NR connection over a dual mode-capable Massive MIMO radio.




5G Devices

Sprint is working with the right partners in order to deliver breakthrough technology and a robust roadmap for its consumer and business customers to experience Sprint 5G. Sprint and LG are working to deliver the first 5G smartphone in the U.S. in the first half of 2019. Sprint and HTC announced they’re working together to bring a 5G mobile smart hub to consumers in the same period. And Sprint will launch a 5G smartphone from Samsung in summer 2019. A Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ mobile platform using the Snapdragon X50 5G modem powers these devices with Gigabit LTE and 5G capabilities to kick data speeds into turbo drive. Sprint will announce additional devices as it builds its 5G product ecosystem to give customers choice in how they connect to Sprint’s 5G network.


About Sprint:

Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served 54.5 million connections as of Sept. 30, 2018 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Today, Sprint’s legacy of innovation and service continues with an increased investment to dramatically improve coverage, reliability, and speed across its nationwide network and commitment to launching the first 5G mobile network in the U.S. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.