US wireless carriers are in a race to see who brings 5G connectivity to the market, and it looks like Sprint is planning to not only bring 5G for its customers but also gaining on its rivals. Starting this April, Sprint will make 5G-like capabilities available in three cities: Chicago, Dallas and Houston. The wireless carrier said it will add Atlanta, Washington, DX and Houston to the list alter this year. The company expects to do a full 5G rollout in the first half of 2019.
How exactly will Sprint rollout its 5G network? Well, the company is relying on MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology to upgrade its network. MIMO technology allows multiple antennas to push data to a single access point, meaning that users will see faster data speeds without seeing congestion. Sprint promises that this technology will deliver “up to 10 times the capacity of current LTE systems, significantly increasing data speeds for more customers in high-traffic locations.”
Speaking in terms of MIMO tech, it’s compatible with both LTE and 5G technologies. When customers see initial increase in speeds, it will be because of more efficient data handling process. Although, it appears that Sprint customers won’t see “true 5G” experience until 2019, which is when it will likely increase its pricing as well for plans.
Any Sprint customer that has a phone with 2.5GHz (band 41) will be able to take advantage of MIMO technology. Sprint said that it plans to roll out true 5 GHz phones in early 2019. All in all, it’s good to see that Sprint making improvements to its current network with MIMO technology because it could really use it. Sprint is last among the four major wireless carriers in the US.