Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Sprint confirms its 2.5 GHz spectrum is included in 5G NR spec

Sprint confirmed that its  2.5 GHz spectrum band is included in the Non-Standalone 3GPP 5G NR specification (initial part of Release 15), which was ratified at the 3GPP TSG RAN plenary meeting in Lisbon in late December.

The specification includes bandwidths up to 100 MHz for an n41 (2.5 GHz) single component carrier vs. today’s 20 MHz per component carrier for 4G LTE. With more than 160 MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum available in the top 100 U.S. markets, this gives Sprint the largest nationwide block of sub-6 GHz 5G spectrum available for wide-scale use in the U.S.

“This is an important milestone and we’re making great progress accelerating the development and commercialization of 5G NR in the 2.5 GHz band,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO. “5G will spur dramatic innovation and progress around the world, and we see great opportunity in mobile 5G, massive machine type communications, and ultra-reliable and low-latency communications.”

Sprint also confirmed that it aims to provide commercial 5G services and devices in late 2019 and that it is working with Qualcomm and Softbank in this regard. In addition, Sprint is working with its RAN (Radio Access Network) suppliers – Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung – for end-to-end availability of 5G NR in Sprint’s 2.5 GHz (n41) spectrum.

Sprint’s initial path to market for 5G will be through the deployment of 2.5 GHz Massive MIMO radios slated for commercial use in 2018. These 64T64R (64 transmitters, 64 receivers) radios will be software-upgradable to 5G NR.

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