John Saw at Sprint, with an extremely limited budget, covered 11% of the US population in April 2019. Simply by upgrading existing cells, he's covered about 20% of New York, (At the top of the map is where I live.)
He hasn't yet reached most cities in the US or the most populous areas of NY, the black areas on the bottom of the illustration. I believe when he upgrades more cells, Sprint will cover more than half the US population.
In mid-band with Massive MIMO, Sprint's 2.5 GHz has reach comparable to the traditional lower bands. Sprint's 1800 MHz covers 95%+ of the city. The 5G coverage will be similar when the other cells in NY are upgraded.
Sprint's 160 MHz of spectrum at 2.5 GHz is one of the best holdings on earth. Saw already is getting good and sometimes contiguous coverage without adding any new cells.
Upgrading existing cells is much less expensive than building new ones. It mostly avoids common problems such as regulatory wrangles over antenna siting, availability of backhaul, decisions over network/asset sharing, and indoor coverage.
Massive MIMO is working extremely well. 64 antennas can focus the beams and aim the signals where they are needed. An important analysis by ZTE concludes 3.5 GHz Massive MIMO has performance similar to the 1800 MHz of traditional wireless.
Saw is being cautious, telling customers to expect 100-200 Mbps. Similar networks in other countries typical deliver 100-500 Mbps and occasionally better. Rootmetrics' testing of 3.5 GHz in Korea often found indoor speeds over 300 MHz.
AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, as well as all major Europeans, have much less coverage. As I write in August 2019, nearly all the major carriers in Europe and the US offer service to less 2%.
Here's the announcement with more details.
Sprint Lights Up True Mobile 5G in New York City
NEW YORK, Aug. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Sprint’s (NYSE: S) on-the-go customers can now experience the power and performance of True Mobile 5G across the heart of New York City. The next generation of wireless service is here, delivering coverage and mobility with blazing-fast download speeds. True Mobile 5G from Sprint is set to power new experiences for wireless customers, from gaming and entertainment services, to IoT and business applications. Starting today, Sprint customers can enjoy Hatch mobile cloud gaming on Sprint’s 5G smartphones.
New York City is one of nine markets where Sprint has launched True Mobile 5G. In addition to New York City, Sprint today launched commercial 5G service in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. This follows earlier commercial launches in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Kansas City. Sprint’s True Mobile 5G network covers approximately 2,100 square miles, with approximately 11 million people expected to be covered in total across all nine market areas in the coming weeks, more than any other U.S. carrier to date.
"We’re proud to give Sprint customers their first truly mobile 5G experience across the heart of New York City," said Sprint CEO Michel Combes. "This is just the start of tremendous growth and innovation that Sprint, together with T-Mobile, will bring to a wide range of industries including energy, healthcare, manufacturing, finance, insurance, transportation, hospitality and more."
Today Sprint True Mobile 5G is delivering faster download speeds with Ookla® Speedtest Intelligence® data showing Sprint’s average 5G download speed of 203.8 Mbps is nearly 6X faster than Sprint’s average LTE download speed of 35.2 Mbps.1
Sprint True Mobile 5G will cover approximately 1.7 million people in NYC with service available in parts of Manhattan from Central Park to the southern tip. Sprint 5G service is available in parts of Midtown East and West, including popular destinations such as Times Square, Chelsea Piers, Rockefeller Center, and the areas around Jacob Javits Center and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. In addition, Sprint 5G service can be experienced in parts of the Upper East Side including Lenox Hill and Yorkville areas; and the Lincoln Square area of the Upper West Side, as well as parts of Greenwich Village, East Village, and Chinatown in Lower Manhattan. Sprint 5G also covers the ingress and egress to La Guardia and JFK Airports, parts of Flushing and Rockaway Beach in Queens, Red Hook in Brooklyn and Concourse in the Bronx. In New Jersey, Sprint will cover areas of Hudson County including Union City and North Bergen.
At the foundation of Sprint 5G is Massive MIMO, a breakthrough technology that dramatically improves network capacity. In New York City, Sprint is using 64T64R (64 transmitters 64 receivers) 5G Massive MIMO radios from Nokia. These radios support a feature called split-mode that enables Sprint to simultaneously deliver LTE Advanced and 5G New Radio (NR) service. Sprint’s 5G Massive MIMO radios run on its 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum, and they are deployed on Sprint’s existing 4G cell sites, providing a nearly identical footprint for both 2.5 GHz LTE and 5G NR coverage.
"Today’s 5G launch in New York City has been over a year in the making as we’ve collaborated with Sprint on the deployment of Nokia’s Massive MIMO and 5G innovations," said Ricky Corker, Nokia President of Customer Operations for the Americas. "Our collaboration has required significant expertise and stringent testing to ensure a high quality, high performing network that can deliver the anticipated 5G services to Sprint’s customers."
OnePlus 7 Pro 5G Joins 5G Portfolio
Sprint also announced the availability of its fourth 5G device today - OnePlus 7 Pro 5G. It will be available beginning Aug. 27 in select True Mobile 5G market retail stores and on Aug. 28 at www.sprint.com/oneplus5G or by calling 1-800-SPRINT1. Beginning Sept. 6, it will be available in all Sprint retail channels.
OnePlus 7 Pro 5G features a triple camera including an ultra-wide angle lens, 3X optical zoom and an innovative pop-up camera. Additional features include a seamless, edge-to-edge Fluid AMOLED display with unrivalled smoothness courtesy of a 90 HZ refresh rate. OnePlus’ Warp Charge 30 technology charges the phone up to 50 percent in just 20 minutes.
Get OnePlus 7 Pro 5G for just $20.00 per month for a limited time with $0 down and Sprint Flex lease – that’s a savings of more than 40%.2 For more information and full device specifications, visit www.sprint.com/oneplus5g.
Sprint already launched three powerful devices enabling customers to experience 5G mobility and blazing-fast speeds: Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, LG V50 ThinQTM 5G and HTC 5G Hub. These devices are powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Mobile Platform using the Snapdragon X50 5G modem, RF transceiver and Qualcomm® RF Front-End solutions.
"We’re thrilled to offer customers some of the world’s most innovative 5G devices from leading manufacturers," said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO. "These exceptional devices paired with Massive MIMO technology and our 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum will give Sprint customers a truly mobile 5G experience all across these great cities."
Unleash the Power of 5G with Unlimited Premium and Hatch
Unlimited Premium is the plan of choice for Sprint’s 5G-enabled phones with nationwide Unlimited data, talk and text, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Twitch Prime, Tidal HiFi, full HD streaming and 100 GB LTE mobile hotspot. As Sprint’s best Unlimited value, it costs just $80 per month with AutoPay for one line – a value of nearly $150 per month.3 Customers can also pair a 5G device with an Unlimited Plus service plan.
Sprint is collaborating with cloud gaming pioneer Hatch to deliver an unrivalled game-streaming experience. Customers will receive a three-month subscription to Hatch Premium on Sprint 5G smartphones.4
Hatch features unlimited on-demand access to a curated portfolio of more than 100 premium mobile games, including exclusive Hatch Originals like Angry Birds GO! Turbo Edition and Arkanoid Rising. It also includes a rich social gaming experience – competitive leaderboards and shared gameplay sessions with voice chat and the ability to connect with friends and join live tournaments. Hatch Kids is a safe space for kids to play, create and learn without advertising or in-game purchasing.