Looks like Sprint is running full steam ahead into 2017.
CTO John Saw on Friday gave a glimpse into just what Sprint is planning, noting the carrier has “aggressive goals to keep innovating and improving our network.” And it appears one of those is hitting near-gigabit speeds.
Saw indicated Sprint expects to unveil some of its work with 256-QAM and massive MIMO on Sprint’s licensed spectrum that pushes the 1 gbps speed boundary. It’s unclear whether this will include an actual deployment of the technology, though; Saw said only the reveal would be “an important demonstration with speed as a proxy for capacity showcasing the incredible potential of our deep 2.5 GHz spectrum position.”
The hint from Sprint comes just a day after T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray provided a glimpse into T-Mobile’s own tests with 256-QAM and 4x4 MIMO – along with three-carrier aggregation – that yielded peak speeds of 979 mbps.
But Sprint has other things on its plate, too.
Saw said Sprint will continue its deployment of three-carrier aggregation in the country, expanding out from the more than 100 markets where it’s available today. And as devices with the carrier’s recently announced High Performance User Equipment (HPUE) technology start to proliferate, Saw said Sprint will be able to extend coverage of its 2.5 GHz spectrum to improve both indoor and outdoor performance.
According to Saw, Sprint will also continue its roll out of small cells using dedicated spectrum and “innovative” backhaul solutions to add coverage and capacity “where it’s needed.”
“We have built great momentum in 2016 and we are very encouraged to see that following our deployment of 200 small cells in Manhattan we saw median download speeds increase 43 percent and median upload speeds increase 56 percent,” Saw reported. “We look forward to the next phase of our journey, and the amazing results we’ll keep delivering for our customers.”