Keeping Up with the Jones’: Sprint Plans 2019 5G Rollout
Sprint Corp. announced its plans to launch a 5G network in early 2019, putting it roughly on par with its rivals’ rollout plans, reported The Wall Street Journal.
In preparation for 5G, Sprint said in November 2017, that it plans to spend $5 billion to $6 billion in 2018 to create a superior network relying on airwaves at the 25 GHz band. This approach covers greater distances than some rivals like Verizon Communications Inc., which is building a 5G network using ultrahigh-frequency airwaves only covering a few thousand feet, reported The Wall Street Journal.
Sprint’s 5G frequencies will also allow it to roll out its network nationwide more quickly than competitors. However, the carrier has had some challenges in obtaining zoning permits for small cell towers to increase network capacity, stalling initial timelines previously promised by executives.
“We made a few mistakes. We thought that the roll out of small cells was going to be much faster,” said Sprint Chief Executive Marcelo Claure.
Although none of today’s 5G smartphones are equipped to work with 5G technology, the fifth-generation network has implications for devices such as self-driving cars and other Internet of Things (IoT) machines. Additionally, U.S. national security officials have raised concerns that Chinese telecom carriers might beat the U.S. in building 5G networks, creating a race to the finish line.