The test, carried out in San Diego, utilized equipment from Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies

Sprint completed what it claims to be the world’s first over-the-air 5G data transmission using 2.5 GHz and massive MIMO on its live commercial network.

The test was carried out with Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies, the carrier said.

The field test, conducted on Sprint’s commercial network in San Diego, used global 5G standards on a commercial 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) network with Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum, Nokia’s dual-mode AirScale massive MIMO radio and a mobile smartphone form-factor test device powered by the Qualcomm  Snapdragon X50 5G modem and antenna modules with integrated RF transceiver, RF front-end and antenna elements.

Sprint said that the test “demonstrated a seamless transition of connectivity between Sprint’s 4G LTE Advanced and 5G network,” while streaming YouTube videos, conducting Skype audio and video calls and sending and receiving instant messages.

“This is a big step forward – Sprint 5G is now out of the lab and in the field as we prepare for our commercial launch in the first half of this year,” said John Saw, Sprint’s CTO. “We’re making great progress towards giving Sprint customers the first mobile 5G experience in nine top cities with the first 5G smartphone in the U.S.”

“By using 2.5 GHz for 5G, existing sites nationwide can be re-used, with indoor coverage as well. This first standards-based call is thus a critical step towards Sprint’s offering of a 5G service to its customers,” said Mike Murphy, CTO for North America, Nokia.

In December, Sprint completed its first 5G NR data transmissions inside its lab in Reston, Virginia, using its 2.5 GHz spectrum, massive MIMO radios from both Nokia and Ericsson, and a mobile smartphone form-factor test device from Qualcomm Technologies.

Sprint previously announced its plans to launch 5G services in nine U.S cities during the first half of this year. They include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C.

Sprint said it is currently deploying its 5G network, with hundreds of massive MIMO radios deployed last year. Sprint said its massive MIMO radios support split-mode, enabling the company to offer LTE and 5G simultaneously on the same radio.

Sprint also said that its customers will experience mobile 5G with a 5G smartphone from LG; Sprint’s 5G device portfolio will also include a 5G mobile smart hub from HTC and a 5G smartphone from Samsung.

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