Sprint confirms 5G demos at Copa soccer games in Santa Clara, Philadelphia in June

It's official: Sprint (NYSE: S) will conduct 5G demonstrations on June 3 and June 6 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, and on June 9, 11 and 14 at Lincoln Field in Philadelphia.

That matches what vendors Nokia and Ericsson previously had asked for when they filed Special Temporary Authorization (STA) applications with the FCC, indicating they were involved in 5G demos with Sprint at these two locations.

The FCC on May 5 granted Nokia an STA to conduct tests at 68-76 GHz at Levi's Stadium, and Ericsson on May 18 was granted an STA for tests at 14.5-15.35 GHz in a tent at Lincoln stadium.

A Sprint spokeswoman told FierceWirelessTech that the company is excited to be one of the first U.S. carriers to demonstrate 5G at a large scale public event such as Copa America Centenario. However, it isn't sharing any details yet beyond dates and locations.

In its heavily redacted application, Ericsson said it was requesting tests at the 14.5-15.35 GHz frequency because the experimental equipment it will be using was designed in Sweden to operate on this spectrum.

Ericsson said the demo will use spectrum and antenna parameters that the commission has granted authorization for Ericsson to use previously. However, this demo will use less equipment, have a much shorter radius of operation and be at a lower power.  "We will use only one experimental 5G base station and one piece of experimental 5G mobile user equipment," the application states. "We will be aiming to keep the base station and mobile unit within 50 feet of each other." The maximum EIRP will be 35 dBm.

As part of its conditions, the FCC said before operation, Ericsson must coordinate with satellite stations authorized to operate in the frequency bands that are located within a 25-mile radius of the transmitter.

Nokia's application doesn't reveal exactly what it will be showing off, either, but it says12 pieces of both fixed and mobile equipment from Nokia Solutions and Networks will be part of the demo. Its conditions require Nokia to operate on a non-interference basis to any links operating in the 68-76 GHz band.

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure revealed during the company's last quarterly earnings conference call that the carrier would be leveraging the Copa America soccer tournament in June to demonstrate 5G capabilities with the help of Nokia and Ericsson.

Operators and vendors have been filing applications for STAs in earnest as they test 5G concepts and technologies while the standards are being written. Part of the intention is to use the learnings from tests and trials to help shape the ultimate standards.

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is testing 5G technologies this year with the aim of having an initial fixed wireless pilot in 2017. This summer, AT&T (NYSE: T) is conducting trials in Austin, Texas, in partnership with Ericsson and Intel, first using a 15 GHz configuration and later moving to 28 GHz. T-Mobile US also plans tests in the 28 GHz and 38 GHz bands.

For more:
- see this press release

Related articles:
Sprint gets in on 5G with two COPA America stadium trials planned
AT&T expects to start outdoor 5G tests in Austin this summer
Ericsson seeks modification to license for 5G tests with Verizon

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