Sprint today outlined its plans for ultra high speed mobile wireless under the brand Sprint Spark, with speeds of 50-60 megabits per second. It is being rolled out initially in five cities: Los Angeles, Tampa, Miami, Chicago and New York and enables handsets and devices to seamlessly roam from LTE networks in the 850 MHz, 1.9 MHz and 2.5 GHz band.
Sprint is using carrier aggregation and Time Division for increased capacity at 2.6 GHz and MIMO for better coverage. The 850 and 1900 MHz bands fill in.
Sprint says its new multi-band LTE service will be available to 200 million people by the end of 2013 and about 250 million people by mid-2014. Sprint introduced its all-new FD-LTE network on the 1.9 GHz band in July 2012 and now offers service in 230 LTE markets.
Sprint is using 8 transmit, 8 receive technology (8T8R) for better coverage at 2.5 GHz. Today, the carrier uses a 2T2R backbone. In addition, Sprint is using MIMO on its consumer devices with up to 4 receivers and 2 transmitters to get more bits through the same amount of air.
For its Spark 8×8 Band 41 deployment, Sprint has gone with Alcatel-Lucent, NSN, and Samsung for high capacity TD-LTE. Each company will service approximately one-third of Sprint’s deployment markets. These 2.5GHz radios are expected to be the first deployment of 8T8R cell sites in North America.
Sprint Spark uses carrier aggregation on the 2.5 GHz band, combining two 20 MHz channels for 40 MHz by the middle of next year. By the end of 2015 Sprint will use a total of 60 MHz of spectrum (20 x 3). That’s when you may see up to 1 Gbps of throughput.
Sprint demoed 1 GBp/s in its lab today, with Samsung streaming four simultaneous 4K video streams to four TVs with the meter hitting 1,025 Mbps.
The applications for 1Gbps mobile are pretty limited. Sprint’s major commitment to 8×8 MIMO, carrier aggregation, and consumer devices with 4X2 MIMO indicate a strong interest in delivering fixed broadband and (perhaps) “wireless cable” as well as the usual mobile applications.
Perhaps the rumor that Intel will sell their settop business to Verizon was just a strategic leak. Intel’s new LTE chip, the XMM 7160 works on 15 global LTE bands and supports voice-over-LTE (VoLTE).
Aereo could even provide a wireless link to TV broadcasts. Wouldn’t that be ironic?
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