US telcos are stepping up their preparation for 5G rollout in 2019 and 2020

Continuing the flurry of 5G testing that has typified the first days of 2019 in the US, Sprint has completed the world’s first 5G data call using 2.5GHz spectrum. 

The tests were carried out in collaboration with Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies, and was conducted on Sprint’s commercial network in San Diego, California. 

The test used Nokia’s dual-mode AirScale Massive MIMO radio technology, along with a prototype smartphone device powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 5G modem. 

"This is a big step forward – Sprint 5G is now out of the lab and in the field as we prepare for our commercial launch in the first half of this year," said Dr. John Saw, Sprint’s chief technology officer. 

"We’re making great progress towards giving Sprint customers the first mobile 5G experience in nine top cities with the first 5G smartphone in the US."

Sprint’s testing of the 2.5GHz spectrum band comes just a few days after Sprint’s prospective merge partner, T-Mobile, claimed the world’s first 5G call over 600MHz spectrum. 

The successful tests suggest that the newly merged T-Mobile/Sprint entity could deliver a comprehensive nationwide 5G network capable of challenging AT&T and Verizon. 

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