February 04, 2014

Pushing Speed Boundaries

What would you do with an intuitive, brilliant 2.6Gbps mobile broadband network?

By Stephen Bye, Chief Technology Officer, Sprint

Since its beginning, Sprint has set the standard for innovation. Sprint built the country’s first 4G wireless network from a national carrier, the nation's first all-digital fiber optic network, the first nationwide digital PCS service, and the first nationwide push-to-talk iDEN service. At our Research and Technology Lab in Burlingame, we continue this rich heritage of innovation.
An area of research I’m particularly excited about is Sprint Spark. In October 2013 Sprint Spark made its debut from our lab in Burlingame where we demonstrated 1Gbps over-the-air speed with Samsung to showcase speed potential.  We also successfully demonstrated 1.3Gbps with Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) with 60MHz of spectrum and TDD-LTE. Since that time we have continued to work in the lab with NSN to push Sprint Spark even further using TDD-LTE with LTE-Advanced techniques such as carrier aggregation and 8x8 MIMO. The latest result? An incredible 2.6Gbps throughput on a single sector.
This is phenomenal speed. And no, it’s not a real-world speed today which a customer can experience. Today with Sprint Spark we’re delivering wireless peak speeds of 60Mbps, and that’s very fast. In fact it’s a speed that was almost inconceivable just a short time ago. It’s this reason, the not-so-long-ago inconceivability of 60Mbps, that we continue to push speed limits in the lab and share the results.
Within our labs we work with many partners to push the limits of technology and create an open dialogue about where we want to go and how we’ll get there. The work we’re doing with Sprint Spark has put us on a projected timeline to deliver real-world peak speeds of 60Mbps today and potentially 180Mbps by late next year. As for 2.6Gbps? Well that’s coming.
What would the businesses around you, and the wireless products and services you use every day, do with 2.6Gbps? Wireless networks are the enabler of entertainment, communication and collaboration. They will be foundational to the implementation of so many important technologies – augmented reality, real-time natural language translation, facial recognition, intelligent presence, voice and visual pattern recognition, and much more.
To the entrepreneurs, the innovators, the developers of tomorrow, we ask them to consider: what would you do with an intuitive, brilliant 2.6Gbps mobile broadband network?

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