Google Fi customers will get 5G from Sprint's network

Sprint 5G Cities

Sprint 5G Cities

Sprint and T-Mobile also say the end of June will bring federal approval of their $26 billion merger, which they said will allow the construction and launch of a world-leading 5G service that neither would be able to do alone.

Sprint announced Monday that its 5G network is live, and that 5G would launch commercially in select cities in "the first half" of 2019.

Instead, Sprint's 5G network uses its own mid-band spectrum, which isn't quite as fast (still noticeably faster than 4G LTE), but travels further. To augment coverage, Sprint will rely on its Massive MIMO radio tech, which it started rolling out past year to enable the company to offer both LTE and 5G on the same radio. A Samsung Galaxy S10 5G phone will be available for Sprint customers this summer, Tovar said. Sprint said that its 5G network will be part of Google Fi network.

Samsung is showcasing its 2.5-GHz 64-transmit 64-receive Massive MIMO unit at its Mobile World Congress booth in Barcelona. And Sprint are set for launch in four cities, starting in May. Furthermore, Sprint's marketing chief indicated that early Sprint 5G phones will likely not be compatible across networks, making things more complicated for Google.




After CNET's interview was published, Ray tweeted that it was "wrong" to characterize this as a delay in 5G service, since T-Mobile will still be releasing mmWave 5G phones before the second half of the year. What's more, it'll get even faster when the carrier adds additional MIMO layers in the coming months. All told, Sprint expects to have 5G coverage in 1,000 square miles across its nine launch cities.

Bill Ho, an industry analyst at 556 Ventures LLC, said the Sprint 5G hotspot's ability to handle traffic from 20 devices at once will have immediate uses in business.

Sprint said its Curiosity IoT platform, launched less than a year ago with partner Ericsson, has racked up $230 million in signed contracts. Hatch's cloud gaming service offers unlimited on-demand access to a curated lineup of more than 100 premium mobile games, though company representatives noted that a large number of those games can work on LTE networks with latency in the range of 50-20 ms.

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