Sprint to offer 5G Samsung Smartphone in Summer 2019

Sprint today confirmed plans for an innovative, pre-standard 5G smartphone expected to launch in summer 2019 from Samsung. The company says that Sprint customers will be among the first in the world to experience the incredible speed, reliability and mobility of 5G on this feature-rich handset.  Note that AT&T and Verizon have also announced smartphone from Samsung for the 2nd half of 2019.

“We are proud that our longstanding relationship with Samsung has delivered some of the most innovative mobile technologies to our customers over the years – and this tradition continues with 5G,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint chief technology officer. “Samsung is one of our key 5G network infrastructure Massive MIMO providers, so we are delighted that they will also deliver one of our first 5G smartphones, putting blazing fast connectivity right into our customers’ hands.”

This Samsung device will offer dual-mode connectivity to Sprint’s LTE and 5G network. For 5G and LTE, it will support Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum. In addition, it will support Sprint’s 1.9 GHz spectrum (band 25), 800 MHz spectrum (band 26) and other LTE spectrum bands for roaming. Additional device specifications and exact timing will be announced later.

That’s in contrast to the mmWave frequency technology that’s favored by AT&T and Verizon (defined as being between 30GHz and 300GHz). In December, both AT&T and Verizon announced that they would be carrying upcoming 5G smartphones. Verizon was first, and it announced that it would be selling one of the phones in the first half of 2019. AT&T responded by saying that not only would it have that same phone early in the year, but it would also offer a second 5G phone from Samsung in the second half of the year.

Sprint 5G

5G promises new levels of innovation and progress to connect people, places and the billions of things Sprint customers do with super-fast speed and ultra-reliable wireless connectivity. Customers should experience a shift from 4G to 5G with full-length HD movie downloads in seconds instead of minutes. Graphic-heavy videos and high speed games should play without delays, hiccups or lag-time.

Sprint is building its 5G product ecosystem to give customers choice in how they connect to Sprint’s 5G network. This is the third device announced for Sprint’s 5G network to date. In August, Sprint was the first U.S. carrier to announce timing for a network-integrated 5G smartphone, and it followed in November with news of a 5G mobile smart hub.

In the first half of 2019 Sprint plans to launch its mobile 5G network in nine of some of the largest cities in the U.S.–AtlantaChicagoDallasHoustonKansas CityLos AngelesNew York CityPhoenix and Washington, D.C., with additional markets to be announced.   Massive MIMO technology is a key part of Sprint’s 5G strategy and network build. This breakthrough technology dramatically increases the capacity of Sprint’s LTE Advanced network today and is software upgradable to 5G.  With Massive MIMO at the foundation of its mobile 5G service, Sprint can meet its customers’ demand for unlimited data and high-bandwidth applications, such as television in high definition and virtual reality.

To follow Sprint’s Next-Gen Network build out and its road to 5G, visit http://newsroom.sprint.com/network/.


From The Verge:

Samsung is reportedly working on at least two variants of its upcoming Galaxy S10 smartphone: one with a Qualcomm modem and the other with a Samsung-made equivalent. One of these is also rumored to be a “Beyond X” version of the phone with a 6.7-inch screen. None of the three carriers have confirmed exactly which model of Samsung phone they’ll be carrying. Sprint stopped short of confirming that Samsung’s device would be the first 5G phone on its network, saying only that it would be “one of” the first after. The US carrier previously announced that it would carry a 5G phone from LG earlier in the year, and it also said it was working with HTC to develop a 5G “smart hub.”

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2 thoughts on “Sprint to offer 5G Samsung Smartphone in Summer 2019

  1. 5G Wireless has grown to encompass a plurality of technologies, among them separate classes of wireless antennas for delivering different categories of wireless fixed and mobile services. Telecom industry experts are now concerned that the US’ two largest carriers may be simply rebranding faster 4G Wireless and home Internet services, particularly to trigger the revenue boots they need to fund the multiple infrastructure transitions necessary to make 5G happen.

    The “5G Evolution” plan involves AT&T’s introduction of a technology built on top of the existing 4G LTE platform, called LTE-License Assisted Access (LTE-LAA). It’s a mechanism for increasing 4G bandwidth by dynamically allocating channels in the 5 GHz band of the spectrum. And there’s where the confusion begins, because the similarity of “5 GHz” and “5G” are, at best, coincidental — or perhaps, as the legendary former marketing chief of Apple, Jean-Louis Gassée, called it this week, “markitecture.”

    Consider the following:

    None of the transmission equipment is actually the same. The key purpose of 5G, as it was originally conceived and tested in the US, Europe, and China, is to replace the world’s transmission system with one that is easier and much less costly to maintain than 4G. 5G networks may eventually utilize 4G towers, but not 4G or 3G transmitters.
    None of the phones are the same. On the customer side of the equation, since the architecture of mobile devices’ chassis is geared around their antennas, 5G phones — the kind capable of receiving very-high-bandwidth, millimeter-wave (mmWave) transmissions — will be different phones.
    In the near-term, Wi-Fi could suffer. Though both telcos and Wi-Fi industry leaders talk about co-existence, the de facto agreement their respective technologies lead to is one where LTE-LAA signals muscle into territories where 802.11ac signals reside, and Wi-Fi politely make room for them. LTE signals are obviously stronger, designed to cover much greater distances. While existing Wi-Fi routers are designed to manage signal contention, their own ability to make room for their own channels could be degraded.
    The 5G technologies that make headway at CES 2019 will not include LTE-LAA. Smartphone and device manufacturers perceive their own evolutionary path to 5G, which involves helping along the obsolescence of 4G — leading customers to make the leap off the old networks. Although carriers may urgently need to maximize their 4G revenue streams in order to afford their own 5G transitions, manufacturers such as Apple (which used to avoid CES, but won’t this year) now desperately need 5G to establish the baseline for their next generations, in a market which many experts are perceiving as already saturated and in danger of commoditization.
    Even with these clear and contentious boundaries between wireless technologies, AT&T confirmed last month it plans to upgrade the software of some of its customers’ existing phones this spring, in areas where its 4G transmitters are being upgraded with LTE-LAA, to register a “5G E” icon instead of a “4G” icon.

    AT&T offers this official explanation: “We’re laying the 5G network foundation with 5G Evolution and LTE-LAA. In technology terms, that means we’re upgrading cell towers with LTE Advanced features like 256 QAM, 4×4 MIMO [antenna multiplexing], and 3-way carrier aggregation. These technologies serve as the runway to 5G by boosting the existing LTE network and priming it for the future of connectivity. We can enable faster speeds now, and upgrade to 5G when it’s ready.”

  2. Light Reading on Sprint’s 5G Launch- May 31, 2019

    “This is a day I hope all of you in this room will never forget… the launch of 5G and the launch of this new wireless generation,” said Michel Combes, president and CEO of Sprint, as he took the stage to kick off the event.

    They certainly won’t forget the bill. To get 5G service, customers will need to sign up for Sprint’s Unlimited Premium plan; the plan costs $80 a month, and it includes Hulu and Amazon Prime.

    Earlier, a group of media gathered to talk about the 5G network with Sprint’s CTO John Saw. He touted the advantages of Sprint’s spectrum position (in the 2.5GHz band) but noted that carriers, in the long run, would create the most value for their customers by providing low-, mid- and high-band spectrum.

    Saw said that when Sprint launches its first nine 5G markets — four were launched yesterday — the carrier will reach about 11.5 million people, covering nearly 2,180 square miles with 5G service. “That is why I’m confident in telling you that this is probably going to be the largest initial 5G launch in terms of coverage and footprint,” Saw said.

    For the most part, the industry hype has far outrun the promise of 5G. And Sprint, as a company, has had a lot of false starts, a lot of setbacks in the last decade (or longer).

    But on the subject of 5G, they can’t be dismissed. On AT&T’s network and Verizon’s network, you can’t currently buy a smartphone that gets a 5G signal in Dallas or Fort Worth. You can get 5G service on a smartphone in those markets with Sprint. Does that make Sprint the first carrier to market with a 5G mobile service?


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