Sprint’s 5G rollout: Everything you need to know

sprint 5g rollout

Sprint is working hard to bring its 5G service to the masses. While the company may soon merge with T-Mobile, it’s still making an effort to roll out the next generation of cellular connectivity to its customers. That is good news to anyone currently on Sprint — and it could end up being good news for T-Mobile customers, too.

Here’s everything you need to know about Sprint’s rollout of 5G.

Network

While Verizon and AT&T are primarily rolling out on millimeter wave spectrum, Sprint has a completely different deployment strategy. The carrier will use excess 2.5GHz spectrum to initially build its 5G network.

In addition to hosting Sprint’s LTE service, this mid-band spectrum will also be home to its upcoming 5G service. The carrier building out its towers with 128-massive MIMO equipment to create a 4G/5G split. This decision will allow Sprint to roll out its service quickly and less expensively than other carriers.

While rolling out 5G on mid-band may allow Sprint to deploy quickly and inexpensively, the strategy is not without pitfalls. Mid-band 5G does not offer the same fast speeds and low latency you’ll see on other providers with mmWave. It also doesn’t cover a large area and does a poor job of penetrating through walls and some glasses.

Keep in mind that although Sprint will initially roll out on mid-band, it will continue to build its 5G network on other bands as well. And Sprint successfully merges with T-Mobile in the coming months, New T-Mobile may be the first to have a robust, nationwide 5G network.

Mobile 5G

Sprint will begin rolling out its mobile 5G network in early 2019. The first cities to experience Sprint’s 5G network will be New York City, Kansas City, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. Additional markets will be added in the future, and if Sprint does merge with T-Mobile you can expect to see its network rollout very quickly.

Hardware

sprint 5g rollout screen shot 2018 12 at 1 29 28 pm

In terms of hardware, Sprint wants to make a big splash. The carrier has already announced three products for 2019, though we wouldn’t be surprised to see more.

In August 2018, Sprint announced it would partner with LG to release a 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019. In November, the carrier announced it would release an HTC-branded Mobile Smart Hub at the beginning of 2019 as well. Sprint closed out the by saying it would have a Samsung-branded 5G phone at some point in 2019.

Fixed 5G

Sprint has yet to announce any fixed 5G plans. The carrier did, however, tell PCMag that its Mobile Smart Hub will be good enough for many to use as their primary home internet connection.

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