Eying 5G, Sprint to double down on infrastructure and IoT in 2018


Sprint Chief Technology Officer Dr. John Saw laid out the carrier’s plans for 2018 at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month. Actualizing last year’s promise of more spending, Sprint will prioritize investments in its network and technologies related to the “Internet of Things” (IoT).

Sprint will upgrade “nearly all” of its network infrastructure to use all three of its spectrum bands (800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz); currently, roughly half of its sites use the latter spectrum. On the device end, Sprint plans for almost all its phones to support High Power User Equipment (HPUE), which “extends the range of Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum to nearly match its 1.9 GHz spectrum,” according to their press release.

Densification, with an eye toward shoring up wireless coverage for customers, will also be key. The carrier will also continue rolling out massive MIMO, which would allow simultaneous support of both 4G LTE and 5G “without requiring a tower climb” next year.

Saw confirmed that Sprint’s focus for 5G will be mobile broadband and that the company will use its 2.5 GHz spectrum for it, with millimeter wave spectrum where needed for additional capacity.

The keystone of Sprint’s IoT plans will be the its new battery-powered, “connected” wallet card, which the carrier is marketing as “a groundbreaking example of how important converged networks and advanced integrated technology will be for the lives of everyday people across the globe.”

5G figures to be a game-changer for the IoT, with increased bandwidth allowing for more interconnected devices, such as self-driving cars.



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