Sprint has announced that the LTE-Advanced network is now available across the United States, with over 225 cities now able to access gigabit speeds, and the operator calls the network upgrades to stepping stones to 5G.
Included in Gigabit-compatible cities are New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Miami, Indianapolis and Phoenix.
Sprint said that the 4G LTE upgrade program has involved distribution of 4×4 multifunction multiplex output (MIMO), 256 quadrature amplitude gain (QAM), enhanced beamform with transmission mode 9, two and three channel carrier aggregation, uplink carrier aggregation, 64 QAM and massive MIMO. [1
"We have 21,000 small cells in the air, including major advances we make with Altice and Cox for beach assemblies, so they will continue to strengthen coverage in footprints," Sprint CTO John Saw said during the carrier's Q2 earnings call on Wednesday.
"As [for] Exterior Footprint Coverage, we are looking to add new towers to expand our coverage in neighborhoods that have grown out of our elderly coverage. In the meantime, we also benefit from the roaming agreement we signed with T-Mobile, that they actually have a slightly bigger outer footprint coverage and we can also deliver as well as we are looking at building more new towers to expand our own footprint organically. "
Also read: Sprint CTO on MWC: We have the best 5G range
Sprint has now distributed more than 264,000 devices in its Magic Box – of which the carrier presented an updated version of the Mobile World Congress Americas (MWCA) in Los Angeles last month – across the United States.
Before its 5G launch in the first nine 5G markets in Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York City, Phoenix and Kansas City, Sprint says that it also activates more 5G compatible massive MIMO 64T64R radios, as said, gives a four-fold increase in speeds and a seven-fold increase in capacity.  "Regarding the 5G plans, we are very good o n-track," said added.
"The tool we're using to build our 5G network uses Massive MIMO. And the 5G spectrum we're going to exploit is our 2.5 gigahertz spectrum. So we've started building our Massive MIMO sites … so 5G, for us, when we have these massive MIMO sites built, it will only be a software and lineup upgrade so no tower climbs.
"In a few months we will add the 5G software. We will be able to enable both LTE and 5G simultaneously on the same sites. "
Saw explained that Sprint physically and logically separates 128 antenna elements in two halves, with half giving LTE and the other half 5G.
" You can get away with this for Sprint because we have enough scope to actually turn up both halves of the Massive MIMO antenna, "he said.
" This is how we can use the same radio hardware to enable both LTE and 5G at the same time as the same massive MIMO antenna, so many antenna elements that allow us to drive This in split mode to support both LTE and 5G. "
said that the" key driver "for Sprint's enhanced mobile data rates has been implemented over more 2 .5 GHz spectrum, with the band now distributed across about 70 percent of the macromedicals. Sprint said it's still on track to complete the majority of three-band upgrades by the end of FY19.
Sprint reported a net income of $ 196 million for the second quarter of the fiscal year, up $ 244 million from last year's $ 48 million, with revenues of $ 778 million, up from $ 601 million this year last year.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $ 3.3 billion, up from $ 2.7 billion the year before 109 percent net postpaid customers in the period.
"Sprint reached an important milestone in the quarter by returning to growth in wireless services in the quarter earlier than last year. "
" Our strategy for balancing growth and profitability While we increase network investment and add digital capabilities, we continue to drive solid financial results. "
For the full fiscal year, Sprint increased expectations of adjusted EBIT DA from $ 12 billion to $ 12.5 billion, up to between $ 12.4 billion and $ 12.7 billion.
T-Mobile, which Sprint aims to merge with next year – as union requirements can cost between 28,000 and 30,000 jobs – earlier this week announced adding 1.6 million net customers including 1.1 million postpaid in that last quarter. T-Mobile revenue was $ 795 million, or 93 cents per share, revenue of $ 10.8 billion, up 8 percent from a year ago.
The federal communications commission, however, told Sprint and T-Mobile that they need more time to review their planned merger, although T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray told ZDNet that this is a common occurrence in transactions of such size and scale.
Sprint also works with LG on a 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019, and with Ericsson to build a virtualized network and IoT operating system.
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