MWC 2019: Sprint 5G to launch in May

Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Kansas City will see 5G go live from Sprint in May, while Los Angeles, Washington, New York, Phoenix, and Houston will be live by the end of the first half.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Sprint has announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 that its 5G network will be launching from May.

Speaking on Monday, CTO Dr John Saw said that in May, Sprint's "real 5G" network will launch across 20 square miles of Chicago, 120 square miles of Atlanta, 230 square miles of Dallas-Fort With, and 110 square miles of Kansas City. 

By the end of the first half of 2019, it will also go live across 30 square miles of New York, 85 square miles of Washington, 270 square miles of Phoenix, 115 square miles of Los Angeles, and 105 square miles of Houston.

New York, Washington, Los Angeles, and Phoenix are Nokia markets; Houston, Atlanta, Dallas Fort Worth, and Kansas are being provided by Ericsson; and Samsung will provide the technology behind the remaining initial launch sites.

"There's no shortcut to building a 5G network," Saw said, calling AT&T's 5GE and Verizon's 5G Home offerings "false starts".

Greenville, South Carolina, and Peachtree Corners, Georgia, will also gain 5G networks to enable smart cities applications, Sprint announced, in addition to the Curiosity Internet of Things (IoT) networks being deployed and used there already. 

Sprint also announced an MVNO partnership with Google, so that Google Fi customers have access to Sprint's 5G network.

With T-Mobile, it will be a "better and bigger network" if the merger is approved, Saw added, with the potential to build the first ubiquitous 5G network across the US by combining their spectrum holdings.

Sprint will be offering HTC's 5G Hub for presales in April ahead of availability in May, along with the LG V50 5G smartphone in spring, and the Samsung 5G S10+ when it launches.

IoT partnerships: AWS, SoftBank companies

Across its Curiosity IoT network, Sprint said it has already brought in $230 million worth of contracts.

Thanks to a partnership with MapBox, live maps will now become part of the Curiosity platform, while Sprint has also partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

"AWS has decided to out their content in the edge of our network ... [so] IoT content comes closer to the customer," Sprint announced at MWC 2019.

The carrier has then partnered with fellow SoftBank companies Arm for IoT interoperability, and Nauto for use of Curiosity for connected cars.

Sprint lastly announced its first Cat-M IoT customer: Fleet services company Spireon, which will move all of its devices to the network.

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