SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Soccer fans from around the world today got a glimpse at the future of wireless sports entertainment with Sprint’s demonstration of 5G at the 2016 Copa América Centenario tournament in Santa Clara, California.
Today’s demonstration utilized 73 GHz millimeter wavelength spectrum to deliver peak download speeds of more than 2 Gbps. Soccer fans also experienced a live streaming virtual reality system from VideoStitch that was highly responsive (with low lag) due to the low millisecond latency of the 5G system. In addition, spectators viewed live stream video in 4K ultra high-definition, showcasing the blazing fast, high-bandwidth capability of 5G.
“We’re proud to take a leadership role as the first U.S. carrier to demonstrate 5G at a large scale public event such as Copa América Centenario,” said Günther Ottendorfer, Sprint COO, Technology. “It won’t be long before immersive virtual reality systems and wireless 4K streaming become commonplace. We’re excited to today give soccer fans a taste of some of the exciting applications ahead.”
Behind the scenes, today’s demonstration utilized beam switching, a method of tracking the device, selecting the best antennas, and sending their signals to targeted locations. Beamforming (used today in the Sprint LTE Plus network) and beam switching are more efficient methods of sending signals in specific directions to improve data throughput and overall network reliability. Today’s 5G system also included support for dynamic TDD – the ability to adjust in real-time the allocated capacity for downlink and uplink traffic based on network demand. In addition, Sprint also demonstrated how the 5G system would react to real-world obstructions such as various types of window panes.
Preparing for 5G
As wireless carriers begin preparing for 5G, high-band spectrum will be critical. Sprint has a long history of deploying high-band, with thousands of cell sites currently backhauled by microwave and millimeter wave spectrum. Sprint’s existing wireless backhaul infrastructure, which already provides Gbps throughput, is expected to be deployed on a greater scale, with further enhancements for integrated access in Sprint’s future 5G network. In addition, Sprint is currently densifying its network with the addition of various cell site solutions and smart antennas to meet future 5G demand for higher data rates per person across a given geographic location.
“5G is all about massive densification and high-bandwidth spectrum,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO. “Our 2.5 GHz spectrum is considered low-band spectrum for 5G, and we hold more 5G capable spectrum than any other carrier. The advantageous propagation characteristics, cost curves, and more mature global ecosystem of 2.5 GHz give us great confidence in our position for 5G.”
Looking ahead, Sprint anticipates leveraging a multitude of advanced technologies including multiple carrier aggregation, CoMP (Co-ordinated Multi-Point) with coordinated beamforming, and massive MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) to further enhance the capacity and coverage of its 2.5 GHz TDD-LTE spectrum.
More information about Sprint’s perspective on 5G is available in today’s blog post “Paving the Road to 5G” from Sprint CTO Dr. John Saw.
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served more than 58.8 million connections as of March 31, 2016 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the past five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.