After a hard start Verizon, the leading wireless service provider in the United States, showed fiery speeds which 5G is capable of. Now it's Sprin's turn. In a bid to prove its 5G readiness, the country's fourth largest network operator was turned on its network in areas of Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Kansas City. In the coming weeks, Sprint expects to launch services in parts of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington, DC. The company claims that around 2180 square kilometers of coverage makes it the largest 5G network in the country.
Before May 31, the launch of– a unique 5G phone characterized by – Sprint gave CNET the opportunity to try out the phone and its 5G coverage in Dallas. We put the LG V50 through several tests in a number of places to preview what consumers can expect from the service, and whether they should consider buying in yet.
Sprint is the latest for the company to hook up its wagon to the thrill of 5G. In perfect conditions, 5G will allow us to download movies to our phones in seconds or stream AR / VR games without lag. In addition to telephones,from self-propelled vehicles to . 5G is still a work in progress, though, and is years away from reaching these levels of speed, coverage or reliability. But like the other wireless operators, Sprint wants to lead the way to giving customers a next-generation experience.
Here's what some of my first test looked like:
Test: Download apps and games
We used the speedtest.net app to compare 5G speeds on the LG V50 to 4G LTE on the LG G8. The average download speed was 109 megabits per second over six attempts, compared to 3.74 megabits per second download on the G8. It's impressive, but not as fast as what we saw onearlier this month. which peaked at one gigabyte per second. However, note that Verin's millimeter-wave networks are faster, but have a shorter range, where Sprint's mid-band spectrum allows multiple people on the network at the same time.
We also timed how long it would take to download PUBG Mobile, a 1.86 GB file. The V50 only took three minutes and 31 seconds to download and install the game, while the G8 on 4G LTE had only installed 73 MB (3% of the file) of the game over the same period.
Finally, we downloaded the first episode of Blue Planet 2 on Netflix. The 50-minute episode took 49 seconds to fully download at v50. G8 at 4G LTE was not even a quarter of the way through the download of the episode in the same period.
Test: 5G on the go, in a bus
Driving around Dallas in a bus, we looked at Sprint's 5G speed and consistency. We saw the data rates of a V50 on screens near our seats. To the left of the screen we saw the download frequency, which we have seen peaking over 700 Mbps so far. In the meantime, the frequency drops to 4G when the device starts a new cycle during the test, but Sprint claims when users experience a transmission, they will not notice any noticeable differences. On the right side, the route is our green in 5G. When we switch to LTE, the route should be black, but so far we haven't seen a switch, which is good because it means the network is reliable.
Speed is not as fast 1-gigabit push rates CNET editor Jessica Dolcourt in Chicago with Verizon, But it is still respectable. Remember, Verizon uses what is called the millimeter wave spectrum, or higher frequency radio air waves that deliver incredible speeds, but have limited range.
Our test event in Dallas isin and May when it ] In Chicago and Minneapolis to varying degrees of success.
While Sprint is all at 5G, it is unclear how the road map looks if T-Mobile completes itsas . On its own, T-Mobile plans services in . The Ministry of Justice would like to to maintain the status quo of four players.
Sprint's 5G is based on a 2.5 GHz mid-band radio airwaves, providing a fine blend of speed and coverage. I will test the network using LG's first 5G phone: premiumwhich has Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G modem (the same as found on ). I'm going to get through different places around Dallas, testing data rates at Sprint, so stick around as I update this piece continuously throughout the day. (For a deeper dive on 5G related terms, read .)
Editor's Note: This is an evolving story. Check back for updates when we run data tests throughout the day.
The story was originally published at. 7.30 PT.
Update, 8:57 pm PT: To include clarification that the 5G networks are turned on. 9:33 pm PT: Adds fast test results. 11:33 a.m. PT: Added test tweet compare 5G to 4G LTE. 3:27 p.m. PT: Added "On the go" process section.