Recent data speed measurements show the massive improvement of the average download speeds experienced by Sprint's customers on the carrier's network in New York City and Long Island markets. In a recent press release, Sprint highlights that its average download speed in the urban area has increased from 16.9Mbps to 29.2Mbps, which translates to a 73.3-percent improvement compared to the same period last year. On the other hand, the carrier's average downlink transfer rates in the Long Island market went up from 9.3Mbps to 21.9Mbps, which corresponds to 134.8-percent year-on-year improvement. Sprint further highlighted that based on data speed measurements obtained from April to June 2018, the carrier offers faster average download speeds than its rival AT&T in New York City.
Sprint attributes the improvements in the average download speed in the area to the deployment of small cells and the upgrading of existing cell sites. The carrier is upgrading its existing base stations to support all the carrier's three LTE frequencies, namely the 800MHz, 1900MHz, and the 2500MHz bands. The deployment of the 800MHz bands in more locations improves the network operator's average download speeds inside buildings, while the rollout of the 2500MHz band allows the carrier to offer significantly more bandwidth to its customers. Meanwhile, the installation of additional small cells in numerous locations enables Sprint to cover locations that are not sufficiently served by the larger base stations. Furthermore, small cells improve the network capacity of the carrier in densely populated areas, and this additional network capacity also translates to improvements in the average download speeds.
Sprint's customers in New York City should expect further improvements in the carrier's service within the next few months as it prepares for the deployment of 5G in the area. Sprint has identified New York City as one of the nine markets that will first receive its 5G service, and it has already started deploying Massive MIMO antennas across the country. Even though Massive MIMO antennas have been rolled out as part of Sprint's 5G service, this technology should still improve the experience of its customers connected to the 4G LTE network by boosting the peak data speeds offered by the carrier.