Today the Sprint network is performing at its best-ever levels as more and more customers experience faster, stronger, more reliable service. In fact, drive tests conducted in 106 top markets across the country by Nielsen, the world’s foremost authority on independent measurement, show Sprint’s overall network reliability beats T-Mobile and performs within 1 percent of Verizon and AT&T. Our 4G LTE network covers nearly 300 million people, and our super-fast LTE Plus Network is now available in 250 markets. LTE Plus takes advantage of Sprint’s rich triband spectrum portfolio, and it uses some of the world’s most advanced technologies in wireless such as carrier aggregation and antenna beamforming.
The Most Capacity-Rich Network
With holdings of 204 MHz of spectrum and more than 160MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum in the top 100 U.S. markets, Sprint has more capacity than any other carrier in the U.S. This is a tremendous advantage, allowing us to keep adding the capacity and speed needed to serve our customers’ demand for Unlimited data now and well into the future.
Our Densification & Optimization Strategy
Densification, the addition of small cells and other solutions, enables Sprint to keep pace with the growing demand for data, giving customers more capacity and faster data speeds in high-traffic locations. And our Optimization program ensures that each and every cell site continually delivers peak performance for our customers.
Sprint’s Densification and Optimization toolkit includes a variety of solutions from traditional macro towers to small cells including Magic Box, pole attachments, strand mounts and repeaters. Following our deployment of 200 small cells in Manhattan, we saw median download speeds increase 43 percent and median upload speeds increase 56 percent.
Sprint uses advanced technologies such as carrier aggregation, antenna beamforming, and 8 transmit 8 receive (8T8R) radios. We also are the only carrier in the U.S. to use High Performance User Equipment (HPUE). This innovation, co-developed by Sprint, is an advanced new technology capable of extending our 2.5 GHz coverage by up to 30 percent to nearly match our mid-band 1.9 GHz spectrum performance, including indoors where the majority of wireless traffic is generated.
Our LTE Plus network journey continues as we make progress towards deploying Massive MIMO and Gigabit LTE. In May 2017, Sprint, Qualcomm, and Motorola debuted the first U.S. deployment of Gigabit Class LTE on a live commercial network in New Orleans. Today Sprint is working towards making Sprint Gigabit LTE commercially available in major markets across the country, and only Sprint has the ability to broadly offer Gigabit Class LTE using licensed spectrum. This gives customers a reliable and sustainable quality experience by not relying on unlicensed resources that might be available at some times and not at others.
Looking ahead, Sprint is conducting trials today in preparation for future deployment of Massive MIMO. With Massive MIMO, Sprint has the ability to increase its capacity up to 8X. Massive MIMO is an important technology that will dramatically increase the capacity of Sprint’s LTE network today. And in the future, it will be a key element of our 5G network.
Building a 5G Network
5G requires a dense network in order to meet the demand for higher data rates per person across a given geographic location. And due to the need to deliver Gbps speeds, 5G will put a premium on 2.5 GHz and higher band spectrum. With its deep 2.5GHz spectrum holdings, Sprint has more 5G-capable spectrum than any other carrier in the U.S.
Last year, Sprint was proud to be the first carrier in the world to demonstrate 5G at a large scale public event – the Copa America Centenario soccer tournament.
Today, we are working with Qualcomm and SoftBank to develop the 3GPP 5G New Radio capabilities for 2.5 GHz. As one of the first proponents of 2.5 GHz and TDD-LTE for 4G, we understand the value of building a strong global ecosystem early on. This is why we’re ensuring that Sprint’s deep 2.5 GHz spectrum is an early first-mover in the 5G ecosystem.
Updated July 2017