Today Sprint’s on-the-go customers in Houston are, according to a statement, “among the first in the world to experience the power and performance of true mobile 5G. The next generation of wireless service is here, delivering blazing-fast download speeds from downtown Houston to Memorial City Mall and City Centre Plaza, covering approximately 165 square miles and 800,000 people. Sprint 5G will power new experiences for wireless customers in Houston, from gaming and entertainment services, to IoT and business applications.”
In addition, Sprint also launched mobile 5G service in areas of Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Kansas City, “with service expected to launch in areas of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. in the coming weeks. Sprint mobile 5G will cover approximately 2,180 square miles and 11.5 million people total across all 9 market areas, giving Sprint the largest initial 5G coverage footprint in the U.S.” It is interesting to see “fly over space” get such services before LA and NYC.
“We’re proud to give our Houston customers true mobility and the largest initial 5G footprint in the country,” said Sprint CEO Michel Combes. “Sprint 5G is a platform for innovation in Houston that will create new opportunities and growth across a wide range of industries from healthcare and manufacturing, to agriculture, transportation, hospitality and more.”
Houstonians will know well the coverage area, “Sprint mobile 5G is available across the cultural center of Houston, from the downtown area to Memorial City Mall and City Centre Plaza. Customers can experience dramatically faster download speeds and increased network capacity at popular destinations including major stadiums such as NRG Park, BBVA Compass, Minute Maid, Toyota Center; major universities such as University of Houston, Rice, Texas Southern, as well as around the Museum District, Houston Zoo, Medical Center and Memorial Park.”
“The launch of 5G in Houston is a game-changer bringing with it the potential for a much more connected city,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We could see better traffic flow on our streets leading to shorter commutes, cost-savings and reduction in energy usage, and improved public safety, education and other services. Perhaps most importantly, 5G wireless service will help to drive economic growth by making Houston an even more attractive place to live, work and play.”
The actual foundation of Sprint 5G is “Massive MIMO,” a “breakthrough technology that dramatically improves network capacity. In Houston, Sprint is using 64T64R (64 transmitters 64 receivers) 5G Massive MIMO radios from Ericsson. 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.”
Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, said: “Ericsson is working together with Sprint to unleash the power of 5G on Sprint’s network. Our 5G Massive MIMO radios will provide Sprint users with a true next-generation experience, enabling advanced applications for businesses and consumers.”