Sprint is using Just a Quarter of their Available 2.5GHz Spectrum

Sprint is in a good place for 5G deployment, when the time comes. But right now isn't the time. Sprint has a ton of 2.5GHz spectrum, which they picked up from purchasing Clearwire a few years ago. They have deployed it in their LTE network which has helped them offer more bandwidth to their customers, which means faster speeds. You see the higher the spectrum, the more bandwidth or capacity it has, but the other side of that equation is the fact that it'll have less coverage. Which is why Sprint has paired it with the 800MHz spectrum they received from buying Nextel many, many years ago. Together it offers pretty impressive coverage as well as speeds for their customers.

According to the company's chief financial officer, Tarek Robbiati, about half of their 4G LTE data is being handled on their 2.5GHz spectrum. Actually, Robbiati said that "more than half" is on 2.5GHz. That's pretty impressive, but what's even more impressive is the fact that they own about 160MHz of 2.5GHz spectrum in most markets, and right now, they are only using about a quarter of it. What this means is that they will have plenty of spectrum for 5G, which is expected to launch around 2020, and will take advantage of the higher-band spectrum like 2.5GHz. Robbiati feels that 2.5GHz will be the bedrock of 5G, at least for Sprint. He used the analogy that 2.5GHz will be to 5G what 800MHz is to LTE.

Sprint has had a bit of trouble with their network during the LTE era. Of course, a major part of that was the fact that they jumped on the WiMax bandwagon before everyone had decided on a 4G standard, which became LTE. That meant that all of the "4G" that Sprint had built out would not be compatible with other carriers. And thus they wasted their time. That also set them far behind their competitors. Leaving many customers on an already pretty congested 3G network which continued to deteriorate. It was only part of Sprint's problems in recent years, but it seems to be a problem that is being fixed now, and will help them with 5G in the next few years.

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Alexander Maxham

Section Editor
Alex has written for Androidheadlines since 2012 as Editor of the site and traveled the World to many of the biggest Smartphone and Technology events. Alex has a background in Technology and IT and Deep Passion for Everything Android and Google. His specialties lay in Smartphones of all budgets, Accessories, Home Automation and more. Contact him at [email protected]
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