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Sprint plans to offer 2.5 GHz 5G by late 2019

Image: Sprint
Image: Sprint
The 4th largest cellular carrier in the U.S. is aiming to bring 5G to commercial clients in late 2019.

The 4G cellular data standard has been around for the better part of a decade now, and it consistently rises to meet our ever-growing data needs. However, with the advent of UHD media, hi-fidelity audio streaming, and the desire for faster and faster mobile data speeds, 4G and 4G LTE may not fit the bill much longer. We’ve seen some mobile carriers, notably Verizon, beginning the transition to the faster 5G standard. Sprint will soon throw its hat into that ring as well.

In an announcement today, the 4th largest mobile carrier in the U.S. stated that it will be partnering with SoftBank and Qualcomm Technologies to “develop technologies for 5G, including the 3GPP New Radio (NR) standard in Band 41 (2.5 GHz) for accelerated wide-scale 5G deployments.” The company stated they have plans to roll out commercial services and devices that can utilize 5G sometime in late 2019.

And… that’s it. Not much else was said, but this announcement by Sprint may spur the other U.S. carriers to push out 5G faster in order to compete. The 5G standard isn’t very well defined at this time but aims to bring speeds in the tens of Megabits per second (Mbps) for broad areas and in the hundreds in metropolitan areas. Currently, 4G LTE (the fastest widely-available standard) averages between 10-20 Mbps in most areas. 5G will also focus on energy efficiency and improved latency in order to better support Internet of Things (IoT) devices.


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Sam Medley, 2017-05-10 (Update: 2017-05-10)