& cplSiteName &

Sprint Gets Ready for Massive MIMO, Eyes 2.5GHz for 5G

Dan Jones
2/27/2017
50%
50%

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2017 -- Sprint's CTO said Monday that it could push its own 2.5GHz spectrum as a 5G band, as the operator prepares to ramp up to "Gigabit LTE" with 128-element antenna arrays, commonly dubbbed "Massive MIMO."

As Light Reading first reported early in February, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is teaming up with Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) to deploy multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) antenna arrays -- with 64 transmitters and 64 receivers (64T64R) to improve connection performance, speed and capacity on its 2.5GHz network. A field trial is to come this year, and "the deployment will follow soon," CTO John Saw said at a press roundtable here.

"Sprint will be the first US operator to deploy massive MIMO in the US," said Nokia EVP and North American President Ricky Corker.

Saw, and Sprint COO of Technology Günther Ottendorfer, both described massive MIMO as one of the key components of the next generation of wireless technology. Interestingly, Saw says with 160MHz of 2.5GHz spectrum available in the US, Sprint could lobby for the frequency as a 5G band.

"For 2.5[GHz] we have enough to drive it as a candidate band for 5G," he said. The baseline so far is that operators will need a 100MHz channel for 5G deployments. This is done by bonding together five separate 20MHz 2.5GHz radio channels, a process known as carrier aggregation (CA). Sprint is currently deploying 3CA.

Combining Massive MIMO with technology like 3CA will start to push LTE networks towards 1Gbit/s download speeds for users, as long as they have state-of-the-art 4x4 MIMO on their handsets as well. Although all Sprint users near a massive MIMO site should see an improvement. Ottendorfer says that the Nokia antennas can deliver "nearly 3Gbit/s" at the cellsite.

But both Saw and Ottendorfer were a bit leery of talking peak speeds, such as five to ten times better performance in trials, the COO suggested. It is better to understand, Ottendorfer suggested, that -- on average -- Sprint subscribers are typically using 1.5 Mbit/s on the network right now.

"We need to make sure that customers get 2 to 3 megabits a second," he said, as ever more video gets streamed across the air. Even that is a two-way stream as content providers -- like YouTube -- improve their compression techniques for streaming.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
Nokia Bell Labs & Verizon Stretch Fixed 5G to the Home
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/13/2017
OEMs: Reliance Jio Wants Only Your Software
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 11/10/2017
Broadband Fee Fight Gets Messy at the FCC
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 11/10/2017
Animals with Phones
Why Cats Don't Run Tech Support Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives