In an interview with Kansas City Business Journal, Sprint Chief Strategy Officer Kevin Crull announced that the carrier will start deploying its 5G network in Kansas City next year. The network operator has previously announced that it plans to begin the rollout of its 5G network to nine markets across the country by 2019. Seven of the nine markets have already been named by the company; besides Kansas City, these include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.
Among the innovative use cases that could be powered by the new cellular technology are remote surgery and connected virtual reality headsets, both of which rely on reduced network latency offered by 5G, the executive said. In addition, 5G could play an important role in the development of smart cities. According to Bob Bennett, chief innovation officer of Kansas City, residents may benefit from the deployment of 5G in the city through improved traffic management and more precise utility billing procedures. More use cases and applications that take advantage of increased data speeds offered by the 5G standard are expected to appear in the future, Sprint's official said.
Even though the carrier will only begin rolling out wireless 5G next year, it is currently upgrading its infrastructure in order to prepare the network for the deployment of the new cellular standard. The network operator will begin deploying Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antennas in base stations across the country this year. Such solutions increase the capacity of a cellular network by allowing base stations to send and receive multiple data streams at the same time. Since Massive MIMO antennas also support 4G LTE, the deployment of these antennas will also result in an improvement in the data speeds offered by the carrier's LTE network. Crull also highlighted the importance of the carrier's 2.5GHz spectrum in its future 5G deployment. This frequency enables Sprint to offer increased speeds while covering a larger area compared to mmWave solutions.