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Sprint to Focus on Mobile Broadband Expansion and Laying 5G Groundwork, Instead of Fixed Wireless
Posted by admin | on January 12, 2018 | No Comments
During a recent Wall Street investor event, John Saw, Ph.D., the chief technical officer of Sprint, revealed that the wireless carrier is not planning any fixed wireless rollouts for now. Instead, the company will be focusing on strengthening its mobile broadband footprint, and at the same time, establish a strong foundation for its future 5G network offering.
Specifically, Sprint will be looking to deploy more 2.5 GHz and 800 MHz antennas in order to bolster its current cellular sites. Part of its plans also involve the launch of additional cell sites to improve overall network coverage.
While Saw did not give any specific timeline or launch schedule for Sprint’s upcoming 5G service, he did say that the national mobile operator is now busy setting up the infrastructure backbone for an eventual commercial 5G rollout. According to the CTO, majority of Sprint’s LTE traffic is carried over its existing 2.5 GHz spectrum, which is utilized on only 70 percent of its cell sites as of the moment. The plan is to achieve 100 percent support for the 2.5 GHz band on all of the carrier’s cell sites, while simultaneously integrating massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) capabilities in preparation for 5G.
As pointed out by Saw, massive MIMO will play a vital part in the transition to 5G. Massive MIMO sites can support both LTE Advanced and 5G New Radio (5G NR) at the same time, basically allowing Sprint a two-fold opportunity to not only boost its LTE capabilities, but also lay the groundwork for its 5G offering as well.
Last September, Sprint had announced that it was planning to begin rolling out massive MIMO within the first six months of 2018. About three weeks ago, the carrier also mentioned that it was targeting to start deploying commercial 5G and 5G-ready devices by the second half of next year.