Together with Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Sprint completed an over-the-air 5G data transmission using 2.5 GHz and Massive MIMO on a live commercial network.
The field test, conducted on Sprint’s commercial network in San Diego, used global 5G standards on a commercial 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) network with Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum, Nokia’s dual-mode AirScale Massive MIMO radio, and a mobile smartphone form-factor test device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem and antenna modules with integrated RF transceiver, RF front-end and antenna elements.
The test demonstrated the transition of connectivity between Sprint’s 4G LTE Advanced and 5G network, while streaming YouTube videos, conducting Skype audio and video calls, and sending and receiving Instant Messages.
“This is a big step forward – Sprint 5G is now out of the lab and in the field as we prepare for our commercial launch in the first half of this year,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint’s chief technology officer. “We’re making great progress towards giving Sprint customers the first mobile 5G experience in nine top cities with the first 5G smartphone in the U.S.”
This week’s successful test at a commercial Sprint cell site follows earlier 5G milestones by the company. In December, Sprint completed its first 5G NR data transmissions inside its lab in Reston, Va., using its 2.5 GHz spectrum, Massive MIMO radios from both Nokia and Ericsson, and a mobile smartphone form-factor test device from Qualcomm Technologies.
Sprint 5G Launching in First Half of 2019
Sprint’s 5G build out is well under way with hundreds of Massive MIMO radios deployed last year. The carrier will go live commercially 5G technology and Massive MIMO technology on 2.5 GHz spectrum in nine top cities in the first half of 2019. They include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. From the start, the company is designing mobile 5G footprints covering these downtown metros.