Sprint has already detailed some of its 5G rollout plans, but today the carrier gave us a preview of the network tech that it plans to deploy ahead of full-blown 5G.
Sprint says that Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. will be the first cities to experience Massive MIMO, which will give customers "5G-like capabilities" like data speed increases on existing devices. Subscribers in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles will see it starting in April, followed by Atlanta, Houston, and Washington D.C. later this year.
Massive MIMO can offer up to 10 times the capacity of current LTE systems. These Massive MIMO radios use 64 transmit and 64 receive arrays for a total of 128 antennas. Sprint customers with 2.5GHz-capable devices will benefit from the increased speed and capacity from Massive MIMO. Some of Sprint's 2.5GHz devices include the Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 8, LG G6, LG V30+, Google Pixel 2, and HTC U11.
Millions of Sprint customers across the country will benefit from Massive MIMO as Sprint aims to deploy thousands of radios in 2018 and 2019.
When it comes to true 5G mobile coverage, Sprint says that it's on track to deploy that tech in the first half of 2019. Sprint is working with Qualcomm and device makers to launch 5G mobile devices in the first half of 2019, as well.