Sprint will be launching their 5G service in select markets by the end of the month, and starting tomorrow customers in the target cities will be able to preorder a 5G-capable device to use on the new network. The LG V50 ThinQ smartphone will be available for users who want a 5G-capable phone, and the HTC 5G Hub hot spot will be the data-only option. The preorder will open May 17 for users in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Kansas City, and Sprint plans to expand the offering to Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington, DC in the coming weeks.
At the Big 5G Event in Denver, Colorado, Sprint talked about their 5G plans and highlighted how 5G will impact IoT in particular. Mishka Dehghan, vice president of 5G development at Sprint Business, talked about Sprint’s Curiosity IoT platform which will power applications ranging from smart city technologies to applications for the medical field.
Sprint’s 5G service will launch this month in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas.
Verizon promised to launch 5G service in 30 cities in 2019, and they’re moving forward with that goal with the announcement of 20 more cities that will join Chicago and Minneapolis as 5G-covered cities:
- Des Moines
- Kansas City
- Little Rock
- San Diego
- Salt Lake City
- Washington DC
Additionally, Verizon announced today that the 5G-capable Galaxy S10 is now available for preorder.
Pricing for the S10 starts at $1,300 for the 256GB model, and a 512GB option is available for $1,400. Preorder customers will also receive a a “VIP kit” with extra goodies, including Samsung’s wireless Galaxy Buds, a wireless charging battery pack and a water bottle. The phone is expected be be available on May 16. Customers can preorder from Verizon’s site or from Samsung.com.
5G is big news in 2019, but since it is still in its infancy, there are lots of questions about how it will impact users once it’s more widespread. Security and privacy are top concerns for many experts, and while 5G networks themselves are likely even more secure than older generation networks, the influx of 5G-connected devices that we may see in the coming years means there will simply be far more devices for hackers to potentially exploit.
As researcher Sasa Radomirovic, senior lecturer in information security at the University of Dundee in the U.K, says, “For each 5G equipped thing, there will be the possibility that an attacker or manufacturer abuses it to invade your privacy.”
Samsung has announced that their first 5G-capable smartphone, the Galaxy S10, will launch in South Korea on April 5, where it will be the first 5G phone in the country.
The S10 is expected to launch in the US soon after the Korea launch, possibly around April 11 to sync up with Verizon’s mobile 5G network launch. No price has been announced yet, but it is expected to retail for a couple hundred dollars more than the non-5G S10+ model. However, carriers may discount the phone to give customers an incentive to move to new 5G-capable hardware.
With all 4 of the major US carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile) heavily promoting their upcoming or in-progress 5G wireless networks, customers are eager for information on how and when they’ll actually be able to use 5G service via their smartphone. Android Central has compiled a helpful summary of each carrier’s plans and what consumers should expect. Key points include:
- Like past cellular technologies (e.g. 3G and LTE), the carriers are using different technologies and frequencies and so phones are unlikely to work across all carriers
- AT&T is already showing a “5Ge” icon on some customers’ phones – but this is not 5G; it’s an upgrade to their 4G LTE service.
- Verizon will begin offering the 5G Moto Mod for the Moto Z3 in April.
- Sprint plans to make its 5G service available to Google Fi users.
As part of their effort to get 5G launched in some markets in 2019, Sprint is making updates to their backhaul network. A recent SEC filing made it clear that Sprint is taking efforts to improve its backhaul capabilities in anticipation of 5G, including canceling some existing Ethernet contracts so that they can make changes, and they have also filed an application with the FCC asking for permission to widen its transmissions into additional portions of the 2.5GHz band. Sprint is heavily invested into 5G and is primed to launch their service in 9 cities this year: Atlanta; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Kansas City; Los Angeles; New York City; Phoenix; and Washington, DC.
5G deployments from Verizon and AT&T are based on millimeter wave frequencies, but both Ericsson and Huawei are currently testing non-standalone 5G New Radio standard on the 2.6GHz band.
“In the early stage of 5G network deployment, C-Band and 2.6 GHz are undoubtedly the most mainstream frequency bands, Yang Chaobin, president of Huawei’s 5G product line, said. “The industry chain of 2.6 GHz needs to be promoted together.”
Ericsson and Huawei are not alone in understanding that the higher frequencies will be important for 5G. Sprint is already deploying on the 2.5 GHz to bolster its LTE network while they prep for their 5G launch.
Photo via scmp.com
5G is a hot topic already in 2019, but surprisingly Samsung was the only manufacturer to debut a 5G-capable smartphone at CES in Las Vegas last week. Samsung showed off their 5G-capable prototype from within a locked glass case, and president and CEO Kim Hyun-suk said it would be available in 2019. No other details were given about the phone, but it looks similar to their Galaxy S10 and will likely share many of the features of other Galaxy models.
In an interview with Yahoo at CES last week, Sprint president of Business Jan Geldmacher expressed his irritation at AT&T’s decision to market their upgraded LTE network as “5G E”. “They call it 5G, but we believe it’s not 5G. We roll out the real 5G. It’s based on our 2.5 gigahertz spectrum. It’s based on our massive mine of technology, and it’s compliant with the 5G [rules], which we have agreed to.”
Geldmacher is correct that customers seeing the new “5G E” indicator on their AT&T phone are not actually connecting to a true 5G network. There are currently no 5G phones available, and Sprint also announced at CES that they plan to launch the first real 5G-enabled smartphone, a device from LG, in 2019.