A new study conducted by the independent network testing firm P3 shows that the High Performance User Equipment (HPUE) technology significantly improves the coverage and the network speeds of the American carrier Sprint's 2.5GHz TD-LTE network. For this test, the engineers from the testing firm drove 36 miles, or 57 kilometers, around the Chicago metropolitan area and obtained around 4,000 test samples using two units of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. The researchers activated HPUE in only one of the two units of the Galaxy Note 8. The test results show that HPUE improves the coverage of Sprint’s 2.5GHz LTE network by as much as 24-percent. The research firm also noted that since smartphones with HPUE were able to stay longer on the carrier's high speed 2.5GHz LTE network, the average download speed achieved by the HPUE devices is 49-percent higher than the average download speed achieved by devices without HPUE.
Sprint first announced the HPUE technology back in late 2016. The carrier mentioned that this technology aims to boost the quality and physical range of its 2.5GHz network in order to match its 1.9GHz network. It is important to note that while Sprint's LTE network running on Band 41 can offer faster data speeds, it has a considerably shorter range and it is less capable of penetrating walls, resulting in poorer indoor coverage. At this point, the company is selling 15 HPUE-enabled smartphones, although the carrier is still working with handset makers in order to increase the number of HPUE devices available.
Sprint also mentioned in its press release that it is implementing other measures to boost the coverage and the speed of its network. For example, the carrier mentioned that it is in the process of upgrading all of its cell sites in order to support all of the company's LTE frequencies, including the 800MHz, the 1.9GHz, and the 2.5GHz bands. In December last year, the carrier mentioned that only 50-percent of its towers support the 2.5GHz LTE band. The carrier is also densifying its network by deploying more small cells, and it is also installing massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antennas, which Sprint claims could enhance the capacity of its network by as much as ten times.