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Sprint is teaming up with Ericsson to demonstrate Gigiabit LTE TDD next week at Mobile World Congress.

The carrier on Wednesday announced the demo will utilize 4x4 MIMO, 256-QAM, Ericsson’s Lean Carrier, and three-carrier aggregation using 60 MHz of Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum. The joint demo will be showcased daily at Mobile World Congress in Ericsson’s booth in Hall 2, the companies said.

Sprint billed the gigabit-class demonstration as “an industry first,” and said gigabit LTE TDD will be a “key technology” in enabling new data-intensive user experiences on its network.

"This demonstration highlights the incredible capacity and potential of Sprint's 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings and our ability to keep meeting customers growing demand for high-speed bandwidth-intensive applications,” Sprint CTO John Saw commented. “With Gigabit-class performance our customers will have a great experience using 4K and even 8K TV and applications such as HD virtual reality on the Sprint LTE Plus network."

The news comes just two months after Saw hinted in a forward looking post from December that the carrier was planning to unveil work with 256-QAM and massive MIMO in 2017 that pushed the 1 Gbps speed boundary. Saw indicated an “important demonstration” would be held, but a timeline for potential deployment of the technology was not provided.

T-Mobile and AT&T have also promised gigabit speeds in 2017, but neither has yet held a public demonstration of the technology.

Ericsson and Sprint on Wednesday also announced they will be working together to test 5G technologies such as massive MIMO for LTE TDD using Ericsson's 5G-ready radio (AIR6468) during the second half of 2017. 

But the exhibit with Ericsson isn’t the only tech demo Sprint will be involved in at MWC. The carrier is also partnering with Nokia to showcase on Band 41 spectrum the latter’s 4.9G setup, which is reportedly capable of delivering up to eightfold gains in throughput and fivefold gains in downlink. More on that technology can be found here.

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