In short: Samsung announced today that it is supplying Sprint with its own Massive MIMO solutions to use on its network. On top of that, these solutions are also 5G-ready, making it easier for Sprint to switch over to 5G when the time comes. These solutions are being used on Sprint’s 2.5GHz spectrum, and they are now in commercial use. These Massive MIMO solutions are able to provide better 4G LTE throughput and capacity for Sprint’s customers.
Background: Sprint had announced back in February of this year that it would be using these Massive MIMO solutions from Samsung in its 5G network. By using Massive MIMO, carriers are able to add more capacity to their network, without needing to purchase more spectrum. This is the main reason why carriers are adopting Massive MIMO in the past few years, as they are looking for more capacity, even though there isn’t much more spectrum available for purchase. With these Massive MIMO solutions from Samsung being 5G-ready, it means that Sprint has a clear path to upgrade to 5G New Radio (NR) over it’s 2.5GHz network. And since this 2.5GHz spectrum is going to be pretty crucial for Sprint when it comes to 5G, this is a pretty big deal.
The impact: What this means is that Sprint is going to be able to upgrade its existing 4G LTE network, and then make it easier to transition it over to 5G in the coming months and years. This means that Sprint is preparing for 5G while also improving its existing network. This is important because 5G won’t be available for everyone for a few more years. On top of that, all of Sprint’s customers will need to upgrade to a 5G-compatible device, which could take even longer.