Sprint's 5G mobile network rollout starts with four big cities in May

Sprint's 5G mobile network rollout starts with four big cities in May
Smartphones technically equipped with cellular modems capable of reaching 5G speeds are already piling up in Barcelona at the ongoing 2019 Mobile World Congress, but at least in the US, no wireless service provider can actually provide service to sustain the groundbreaking new industry standard. No, AT&T's 5G Evolution shenanigans don't count, deceiving users rather than improving their experience in a noticeable way.

Meanwhile, mere days after Verizon shared its latest vague update on future deployment plans, Sprint is doing the same during MWC 2019, going however into a little bit of detail. Specifically, we now know the nation's fourth-largest carrier aims to launch commercial standards-based 5G service in May, with Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Kansas City part of the first wave of network rollouts, followed by Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington D.C. sometime by the end of the year's first half.

That's a decent list of nine major cities set to receive some "true" 5G mobile love over the next four months or so, but you shouldn't get too excited if you live around those parts, as initial coverage is expected to be spotty at best. Sprint thinks it can cover a grand total of more than 1,000 square miles across those nine cities by July, which doesn't sound that bad... until you realize that's less than the combined land area of Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York City alone.

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As for devices offering actual support for this still-theoretical network, Sprint can really only promise the LG V50 ThinQ 5G will be available in due time. Namely, sometime "this spring", when the HTC 5G Hub is also vaguely scheduled to go on sale at an unspecified price with an interesting combination of mobile hotspot and smart display capabilities. Last but not least, there's the Galaxy S10 5G as well, but Verizon will get that first, followed by the "Now Network" sometime "this summer."

While Sprint is not ready to share any specifics regarding real-life speeds users can look forward to after making the 5G jump, the carrier is taking yet another opportunity to highlight the potential benefits of a concluded T-Mobile merger. Together, the two could rock the industry duopoly to build an "incredible nationwide 5G network that reaches underserved communities, accelerates competition, and drives new levels of US innovation and progress." Sounds... a little too good to be true, in all honesty.

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