Sprint announced at MWC trade show in Barcelona that 5G will go live with 4 cities starting in May (Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Kansas City )
Sprint announced the MVNO Google Fi will use its network for 5G in a press release (that is, once there are actually 5G capable phones compatible with Google Fi someday):
This is the first I've heard about Fi and 5G so far. Google has pretty much kept mum on the topic, so I'm somewhat encouraged.
Samsung TDD-LTE gear which are being utilized in Clearwire priority sites. .
Clearwire - Samsung TDD-LTE RRH SLS-BD106Q & Antennas
Samsung TD-LTE RRUs mounted behind BRS/EBS Antenna
Sprint 2500-2600 mhz TD-LTE Setup
Note the Antennas are much thicker and fatter than the antennas being utilized by Sprint Network Vision.
Clearwire TD-LTE Base Station / Cabinet
May be subject to change as TD-LTE sites start being integrated into the Network Vision setups.
I'll clean the post up this weekend when I have more time.
Courtesy of Sbolen from Missouri market.
Samsung TDD RRH SLS-BD104Q1 Samsung TDD RRH SLS-BD106Q
I recently went on an 8 day cruise from NYC to the Caribbean that stopped in Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. My first stop was Grand Turk and there I opted for the free roaming. My S9+ automatically connected to Flow's (Cable & Wireless) LTE network where I received speeds of around 120kbps on average with boosts of up to 150kbps. Something worth noting is that on speed tests, the server prefers to default to Sprint's Miami server as opposed to local servers. Speeds were more than adequate for any amount of web browsing and honestly felt much faster than in reality. It helps that using Chrome will save you data by not loading pictures on certain sites unless you click them.
In Puerto Rico, I connected to Band 13 on the way into the port in San Juan but once I was in the city, my phone never left Band 41. While the phone was usable, speeds remained significantly lower than what I've come to expect from 3xCA in the mainland U.S. Data speeds peaked at around 25-30Mbos but on average were in the 5-10 Mbps range even on LTE+. Signal remained strong everywhere though.
Finally in the Dominican Republic, I entered in Amber Cover which is in Puerto Plata. My phone latched onto a weak Band 2 LTE signal in the port from Altice (called Orange Dominicana in SignalCheck). I had trouble loading pages though. Once off of the ship and out in the open, I had a much stronger signal which allowed me to browse the internet without a hitch. Because it was the last day of my trip, while at the beach I decided to purchase the 24 hour high speed pass for $5. My speeds went from 120kbps to 65Mbps in less than 5 seconds. In some areas speeds were slower, particularly at the port where it struggled to break 2Mbps. Now, back on the boat my phone is flipping between weak Band 4 LTE and overloaded Band 5 HSPA+ from Claro (called Verizon Dominicana in SignalCheck Pro). Here is the difference in speed from before and after purchasing the high speed pass.
Given how competent Ericsson seems at developing new network equipment, I still can’t believe how bad they were at managing it as part of the Managed Services Contract it had with Sprint a while back.
I guess all is forgiven now?
Going to the release that's linked in the article, you'll find this quote:
"The new standalone 5G NR software can be installed on existing Ericsson Radio System hardware."
Clicking the link of "Ericsson Radio System" and going about 3/4 of the way down you'll find mention of some antenna models. Sprint is currently using AIR 6468 antennas with the updated AIR 6488 antennas replacing those. Only using those models will there be a software switched upgrade
Verizon is / was deploying the Ericsson 5GTF backend systems which is their proprietary 5G pre NR standards setup.
The M-mimo equipment on cell towers / light poles are dual mode 5GTF and NR capable. So it's fairly simple for them to just "flip the switch" (simple terms).
They had built a completely new standalone system for 5GTF that doesn't really interact with their extensive LTE EPC hence why they can go full stack NR rather than mixed which most carriers will be going with.
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