Sprint announced today
that it completed the first 5G data transmission using its high-frequency 2.5GHz spectrum. In partnership with Nokia and Qualcomm, the carrier used Nokia’s dual-mode AirScale Massive MIMO radio during the test. This technology uses 64 transmitters and receivers placed in a cell tower that send and receive signals to and from multiple handsets. As a comparison, 4 X 4 MIMO is used on LTE-A networks like AT&T's (ahem) 5G Evolution
. For more on Massive MIMO, click on the video at the top of this article.
Sprint ran the 5G data transmission over its commercial network in San Diego using global 5G standards on a commercial 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) network. The test was conducted using a device that had a smartphone form factor and contained Qualcomm's 5G X50 modem chip. During the test, Sprint was able to seamlessly transition from its 4G LTE-Advanced network to 5G while streaming YouTube Videos, exchanging Instant Messages and making Skype audio and video calls.
"This is a big step forward – Sprint 5G is now out of the lab and in the field as we prepare for our commercial launch in the first half of this year. We’re making great progress towards giving Sprint customers the first mobile 5G experience in nine top cities with the first 5G smartphone in the U.S."-Dr. John Saw, Chief Technology Officer, Sprint