Sprint (NYSE: S) used the 15 GHz centimeter wavelength spectrum and gear from Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) this week to deliver download speeds up to 4 Gbps during a 5G demonstration in the parking lot at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia during the Copa América Centenario soccer tournament.
The move follows an earlier 5G demo on June 3 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, where Sprint and Nokia NYSE:NOK) showed off the transmission of 4K video at 73 GHz and showcased an immersive virtual reality demonstration with Samsung headsets. Sprint is a corporate sponsor of the Copa America tournament.
Tuesday's demonstration allowed soccer fans to experience an interactive live 5G experience by kicking a soccer ball into a connected net that provided instantaneous stats. Spectators were also able to view Fan Fest activities via live streaming ultra-high definition 4K video. Sprint demonstrated the low millisecond latency, as well as how the system would react to obstructions.
"We're excited to be the first U.S. carrier to demonstrate 5G at a large scale public event such as Copa América Centenario," said Günther Ottendorfer, Sprint COO of Technology, in a press release. "It won't be long before sports fans begin to have a much more immersive and connected wireless experience using virtual reality systems, connected sensors, and live 4K data streams."
Sprint continues to pursue its network densification plan for LTE services and to prepare for coming 5G technologies. It's adding various cell site solutions and smart antennas to meet the demand for higher data rates per person across a given geographic location and says its 2.5 GHz experience and holdings are helping to inform how it does that.
Sprint points out that it has a long history of deploying multiple high spectrum bands for backhaul, including 11 GHz, 18 GHz, 23 GHz, 28 GHz and 80 GHz, 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.
Sprint CTO John Saw says its 2.5 GHz spectrum is the low-band spectrum of 5G, and with holdings of more than 160 MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum in the top 100 U.S. markets, Sprint holds more 5G-capable spectrum than any other carrier.
Sprint demos 5G at Levi's Stadium during Copa soccer game
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