Sprint has added New York City, Phoenix and Kansas City to the markets that will receive the company’s 5G service in the first half of 2019. Previously announced markets for the Sprint 5G rollout include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.

We reported last month that if the planned merger with T-Mobile is approved by regulators, the combined company promises to roll out many other markets very quickly, and have nearly a national 5G footprint. A claim they hope will help sway regulators towards approving the mega-merger.

Sprint has been making numerous investments to prepare for 5G, including the Sprint Magic Box and network functions virtualization (NFV).

Sprint 5G Rollout
“Today we have a great LTE network, and with Sprint 5G, we’ll deliver for our customers mobile data speeds that are up to 10 times faster, with significantly improved reliability and coverage,” said Kevin Crull, Sprint’s chief strategy officer, in a prepared statement. “This next generation of wireless technology will create incredible new connections to people and things, and services and experiences that are so unique they will make an impact on the lives of our consumers.”

In April the company began rolling out its first Massive MIMO radios in Dallas, Los Angeles and New York City with more units being added in these and other 5G markets. Sprint said it expects to deploy thousands of Massive MIMO radios in 2018 and 2019.

“We have an innovative approach to 5G that leverages our 2.5 GHz spectrum assets with Massive MIMO technology and we’re excited by the results of early deployment,” said John Saw, Sprint chief technology officer, in a prepared statement. “Sprint is one of the only operators in the world with enough capacity to operate LTE and 5G simultaneously using Massive MIMO and huge channels of 100-200 MHz of licensed spectrum. We can deploy this in the top markets across the country and that’s a powerful differentiator for Sprint.”

A key part of Sprint’s Next-Gen Network strategy is to deploy massive MIMO technology. The company is significantly increasing its investment to launch mobile 5G in the first half of 2019. The Next-Gen Network build, expected to take several years, will include upgrading cell sites to triband service using 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz, and 2.5 GHz spectrum. The company plans to add thousands of new cell sites to expand coverage and to densify the network using more small cells to increase capacity and speed.