The race to release the first 5G smartphone in the US is officially on as Sprint announced that they are partnering with LG to make that a reality in the first half of 2019. This comes after the recent announcement from Verizon and Motorola that they are bringing an add-on to the Motorola Z3 that will bring 5G technology to the already existing smartphone with its modular setup. Sprint, however, will come up with a “less clunky” mobile device that their customers can experience 5G with.
Carriers and tech companies have been promising 5G for the past few years but we’ve yet to see the fruition of this. That doesn’t mean nothing has been happening behind the scenes to bring this to consumers. Now we’re seeing a clearer time table as to when we’ll be able to actually see the technology arrive to our devices and it seems that it will be in the first half of 2019, as per Sprint and Verizon. For Sprint though, it will be in the form of an actual phone from LG.
They did not specifically say what kind of phone it is but they say it’s already in the manufacturing stage and not just a prototype. Words like “beautifully designed” and “best-in-class design elements” are being thrown about but nothing concrete has been said about the device. As for the promise of 5G, it will bring “blazing fast speed and ultra-reliable wireless”.
As a practical example, Sprint says that with 5G, it will only take a few seconds to download a full-length HD movie and that graphic-heavy videos and high-speed games will not have any lags or delays. A key part of their strategy is to use massive MIMO technology which can deliver up to 10 times the capacity of the current LTE systems that we use, even in high-traffic areas. They also say they will be able to give “unlimited data and high-bandwidth applications” which we hope means real unlimited.
Sprint’s 5G mobile network will be launched initially in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington. They’re working on expanding that market more and will announce the other areas soon.