Wireless carriers in the United States are currently in a race to offer truly 5G networks and Sprint just announced that it plans on being the first one to roll out nationwide 5G coverage during the first half of 2019.
To achieve this, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure says the carrier will add new antennas to its towers that are capable of sending and receiving large MIMO transmissions. 5G support will be added to the towers/antennas with a software update, and unlike other carriers, Sprint will be deploying its 5G network through its 2.5GHz spectrum.
Over half of Sprint's towers already support the 2.5GHz standard, and the goal is to expand this to all operating towers by the end of 2018. Furthermore, to help ensure the 5G network's expansion, Sprint will utilize the power of 40,000 "outdoor small cell solutions" 15,000 strand-mounted cells, and as many as 1 million of the network's Sprint Magic Boxes (small signal boosters that customers can purchase and use in their homes).
According to Marcelo –
Sprint is the only carrier that doesn't have to compromise what 5G can deliver because we can deliver super wide channels of more than 100 MHz while still delivering mid-band coverage characteristics.
Another thing worth noting is the fact that Sprint's 5G network is expected to cost more than what it currently charges for unlimited 4G LTE speeds. This is something the market saw during the transition from 3G to 4G networks, and while Sprint says it'll continue to be a "price leader" before its 5G rollout, customers are going to "potentially see some modest price increases in the next year, but nothing substantial."
Speaking more on the 5G price hike, Marcelo states that –
It's going to be very difficult for our competitors to increase the price of unlimited, but we're going to have a lot of room to increase our price of unlimited to get to similar prices as Verizon and AT&T in the future. You get that by having that amazing network. You get that by being the first one to launch 5G. So we're looking at 5G as an amazing opportunity for the company not only for the position of the company, but also to charge for the blazing fast speeds.
In early January, AT&T announced that it would introduce a genuine 5G network to 12 markets across the U.S. by the end of 2018. T-Mobile is expected to start deploying its 5G network at some point in 2019, and Verizon will launch its 5G service in a handful of cities this year.
With 5G just on the horizon of finally becoming a reality, what are looking forward to the most with these increased speeds?
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