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Sprint to launch 5G in 2019

Feb. 3, 2018

Sprint plans to roll out commercial 5G in 2019 using 2.5-GHz spectrum, according to Ryan Knutson in The Wall Street Journal. The initial impact on smartphone users is unclear. Knutson points out that 4G is sufficient for streaming HD video, and none of today’s smartphones will work with 5G technology.

“But 5G networks have implications for other machines and devices, such as self-driving cars,” Knutson writes. “Sprint said the 5G network will benefit its parent company SoftBank Group Corp., which—in addition to owning Sprint—also has a major investment in Uber Technologies Inc.”

Knutson further reported that Sprint said in November, after merger talks with T-Mobile fell through, that it would spend $5 to $6 billion annually on its network.

Challenges Sprint faces include getting zoning permits for deploying the small-cell towers necessary to increase network capacity, Knutson writes.

Sprint seems unperturbed about U.S. government hints at nationalizing 5G networks or building its own.

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