Sprint in partnership with Qualcomm and Motorola Mobility, a Lenovo company, debuted the first U.S. deployment of Gigabit Class LTE live on a commercial network with a forthcoming flagship premium tier smartphone.
According to Sprint, the Gigabit Class LTE service utilizes three-channel carrier aggregation and 60 MHz of Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum in combination with 4X4 MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) and 256-QAM higher order modulation to achieve incredible Category 16 LTE download data speeds on a TDD network.
Motorola showcased the blazing-fast, high-bandwidth capability of a forthcoming flagship smartphone based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 mobile platform with an integrated Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, supporting Gigabit Class LTE.
Sprint plans to use its 2.5 GHz spectrum to offer Gigabit Class LTE service in high-traffic locations across the country. This is part of Sprint’s strategy to build a strong foundation for 5G by densifying its network with the addition of small cells and smart antennas. This will enable Sprint to offer 5G-like throughput experiences with Gigabit Class performance on the Sprint LTE Plus network.
With Gigabit Class performance, Sprint said that customers may experience the latest generation of connectivity experiences, such as immersive 360-degree video and virtual reality, connected cloud computing, rich entertainment, and instant apps on the Sprint LTE Plus network.
The roll-out of Gigabit Class LTE on the Sprint LTE Plus network requires a series of incremental upgrades beginning with three-channel carrier aggregation already available today in more than 100 markets. Next needed is Category 16 devices that support 4x4 MIMO and 256 QAM. Sprint plans to also utilize Massive MIMO, a key element of 5G, to further enhance capacity and coverage of its 2.5 GHz TDD-LTE spectrum. With Massive MIMO radios using 64T64R, Sprint has the ability to push capacity well beyond the 1 Gbps barrier, reaching 3-6 Gbps per sector.