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Sprint Launches Mobile 5G Network in Four U.S. Cities

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Sprint today announced the initial launch of its mobile 5G network, bringing 5G connectivity to Sprint customers in areas of Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Kansas City.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Sprint expects to expand 5G availability to areas of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington D.C.

At the foundation of Sprint 5G is Massive MIMO, a breakthrough technology that dramatically improves network capacity. Sprint is using 64T64R (64 transmitters 64 receivers) 5G Massive MIMO radios from Ericsson in Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Kansas City. These radios support split-mode, enabling Sprint to simultaneously deliver LTE Advanced and 5G NR service. Sprint's 5G Massive MIMO radios run on its 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum, and they are deployed on Sprint's existing 4G cell sites, providing a nearly identical footprint for both 2.5 GHz LTE and 5G NR coverage.
Early 5G networks are limited in scope and are available in small areas in the above listed cities, with residents of those areas able to check out the Sprint press release for specific data on where 5G will be available.

The type of 5G network that Sprint is rolling out uses millimeter wave spectrum, which offers blazing fast data transfer speeds but is sensitive to interference and limited in range, making it best suited to use in urban areas because it can't cover wide swathes of land.

In rural and suburban areas, U.S. carriers, including Sprint, will roll out 5G networks on mid-bands and low-bands, aka sub-6GHz 5G. T-Mobile, the company Sprint is hoping to merge with, is focusing heavily on this more widespread connectivity.

Non mmWave 5G technology won't be as fast as the speeds possible with mmWave, but it will bring improvements over current 4G LTE networks. Sprint says its mmWave 5G technology is 10 times faster than LTE.

Sprint is, in the future, aiming to expand its 5G network through its merger with T-Mobile, though there are concerns that it won't be approved. A recent report suggests the United States Justice Department wants to require T-Mobile and Sprint to "lay the groundwork" for a new wireless carrier (to create a fourth competitor) as a condition for the government allowing the merger to proceed.

Connecting to a 5G network requires a smartphone that supports 5G, and there are few on the market at the current time. Options include the LG ThinQ 5G and the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.

There are no iPhones that are able to connect to 5G networks at the current time, and Apple is not expected to release a 5G device until 2020. Rumors suggest 2020 iPhones will feature 5G chips from Qualcomm, following the resolution of the legal woes between Qualcomm and Apple along with Intel's decision to drop out of the 5G chip market.

Article Link: Sprint Launches Mobile 5G Network in Four U.S. Cities
 
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joueboy

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2008
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Is it fast? Yes! But the problem with the Sprint is the coverage and it gets weaker as you get farther from tower. I signed up 1 year free with them even if they give me another year I'm not taking it, I rather pay for my service and able to enjoy using my data somewhere else.
 
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ksec

macrumors 65816
Dec 23, 2015
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At the foundation of Sprint 5G is Massive MIMO, a breakthrough technology that dramatically improves network capacity. Sprint is using 64T64R (64 transmitters 64 receivers) 5G Massive MIMO radios from Ericsson in Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Kansas City. These radios support split-mode, enabling Sprint to simultaneously deliver LTE Advanced and 5G NR service. Sprint's 5G Massive MIMO radios run on its 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum, and they are deployed on Sprint's existing 4G cell sites, providing a nearly identical footprint for both 2.5 GHz LTE and 5G NR coverage.

The type of 5G network that Sprint is rolling out uses millimeter wave spectrum, which offers blazing fast data transfer speeds but is sensitive to interference and limited in range, making it best suited to use in urban areas because it can't cover wide swathes of land.

In rural and suburban areas, U.S. carriers, including Sprint, will roll out 5G networks on mid-bands and low-bands, aka sub-6GHz 5G. T-Mobile, the company Sprint is hoping to merge with, is focusing heavily on this more widespread connectivity.

It first said they are rolling out on 2.5Ghz with MIMO on NR and LTE, then the next paragraph said rolling out using mmWave? And then said rural area will be sub 6Ghz Band which is the 2.5Ghz Band.

Edit: The first was straight out of Sprint PR. The second is MacRumors's sloppy writing.
 
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Tivoli_

macrumors member
Dec 14, 2017
92
347
All smartphones should be like Google-Fi.
One should be able to connect to the strongest signal coming from the nearest cell tower regardless who owns it, otherwise, 5G means nothing.
I agree with SSD-GUY in that I cannot get even a decent speed on the 3G or 4G networks. And I live in the city!
 
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macaddict06

macrumors regular
This is neat and all but if Sprint could figure out how to have even half-way decent coverage of my top-40 US city that would be even better. It's mind-blowing to me that large chunks of our city have 0 coverage and Sprint is seemingly ok with this.
 
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flindet

macrumors member
Aug 8, 2011
44
6
According to ATT, I am already getting 5Ge. What took Sprint so long?
AT&T is playing marketing games. Don't believe the hype.

More relevant and important:
I'm no expert, but in talks with our enterprise network vendors, they confirm there are potentially serious limitations with mmWave. I was told it's probably best for outdoor use in small areas. Who knows. Anyway, this quote on the wikipedia page sounds right to me:

"Millimeter waves propagate solely by line-of-sight paths. They are not reflected by the ionosphere nor do they travel along the Earth as ground waves as lower frequency radio waves do.[1] At typical power densities they are blocked by building walls and suffer significant attenuation passing through foliage.[1][2][3]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremely_high_frequency

Before signing a big contract with Sprint using mmWave for 5G, I strongly encourage you to find a way to test it, especially within buildings, and especially concrete buildings.

I'd love to be wrong and welcome clarifications and corrections.
 
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The Oak

macrumors 6502
Nov 12, 2013
335
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I have a couple of Sprint towers fairly close. If Sprint rolls out a modem with acceptable data caps ... depending on price ... I may be tempted to swap out my slow DSL.
 
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Dkka1

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2019
101
98
Ha! UK did it first :p possibly.... by a few hours... maybe..

Still seems utterly pointless and with possible unproven health risks. And it’s expensive!

Since consumer tech is the new arms race, health risks and other public safety concerns don’t matter anymore to regulators. Take a look at beta self driving Teslas going around using public roads and citizens as test tracks and dummies.

It’s all okay as long as it makes you the first and/or dominant player, putting you ahead of other countries’ companies.
 
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EdwardC

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2012
293
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Georgia
I'm in the north metro of Atlanta and have been on Sprint/NexTEL since NexTEL which was the bomb at the time. I have never had any issues with Sprint even up in the remote N. Georgia mountains. I have an AT&T line as well and the coverage seems pretty similar.
 
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Wide opeN

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Aug 27, 2010
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Georgia
I'm in the north metro of Atlanta and have been on Sprint/NexTEL since NexTEL which was the bomb at the time. I have never had any issues with Sprint even up in the remote N. Georgia mountains. I have an AY&T line as well and the coverage seems pretty similar.

How are speeds in Dunwoody, since they cite the city specifically. I tried it here in 2014 and it was trash.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
AT&T is playing marketing games. Don't believe the hype.

More relevant and important:
I'm no expert, but in talks with our enterprise network vendors, they confirm there are potentially serious limitations with mmWave. I was told it's probably best for outdoor use in small areas. Who knows. Anyway, this quote on the wikipedia page sounds right to me:

"Millimeter waves propagate solely by line-of-sight paths. They are not reflected by the ionosphere nor do they travel along the Earth as ground waves as lower frequency radio waves do.[1] At typical power densities they are blocked by building walls and suffer significant attenuation passing through foliage.[1][2][3]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremely_high_frequency

Before signing a big contract with Sprint using mmWave for 5G, I strongly encourage you to find a way to test it, especially within buildings, and especially concrete buildings.

I'd love to be wrong and welcome clarifications and corrections.
@elvisimprsntr was cracking a joke about AT&T's fake 5G.

mmwave does have issues with walls and obstructions. I think that's why the networks will still lean on 4G to mitigate the issue. Besides the convenience of using existing infrastructure, I think that's one of the reasons for Sprint attaching the 5G transmitter/receivers to current 4G cell sites.
 
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