Sprint joins NYU Wireless as industry affiliate sponsor

NYU Wireless
NYU Wireless conducted groundbreaking research into millimeter wave spectrum for the cellular industry. (NYU Wireless)

Three of the four major wireless operators in the U.S. are now formally affiliates of NYU Wireless, with Sprint being the most recent to join as an industry affiliate sponsor.

That means Sprint will get early access to NYU Wireless’ research, as well as the ability to work with students and faculty on 5G-oriented projects. Verizon and AT&T are also industry affiliates with NYU Wireless.

The affiliation also means Sprint will contribute technical expertise on network design, use cases and architecture requirements for core and radio access 5G networks and the devices that will access them. 

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“We’re focused on delivering mobile 5G in late 2019 using our 2.5 GHz spectrum to provide broad nationwide 5G coverage with millimeter wave bands serving as high-capacity, high-throughput hotspots,” said Ron Marquardt, vice president of technology at Sprint, in a press release. “Our work with NYU Wireless will be instrumental for practical use of this spectrum and ensuring strong integration between these bands.”

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Sprint, which has more than 160 MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum in the top 100 U.S. markets, has called the 2.5 GHz band the low band for 5G and one that gives it an advantage. The company recently announced plans to develop technologies for mobile 5G with Qualcomm Technologies and SoftBank, with late 2019 being the target for commercial deployment.

Sprint CTO John Saw has said that sub-6 GHz spectrum such as 2.5 GHz will be foundational for providing nationwide 5G coverage, while millimeter and centimeter wave bands will serve as capacity hotspots, providing the highest capacity and throughput where it’s needed.

RELATED: NYU Wireless research shows real potential for millimeter wave in rural areas

NYU Wireless argued successfully last year to get the FCC to unleash boatloads of spectrum above 24 GHz that will be used for 5G, and it was among the first to characterize 28 GHz and 38 GHz as good candidates for 5G. Students conducted measurements at 28 GHz throughout the summer of 2012 in New York City and produced the paper, “Millimeter Wave Mobile Communications for 5G Cellular: It Will Work!” in 2013.

“We very much look forward to working closely with Sprint,” said Sundeep Rangan, director of NYU Wireless and an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at NYU Tandon, in the release. “Dating from their work in developing 4G, Sprint has had a well-known reputation of being technology pioneers, trialing advanced technologies in very early stages. Our research collaboration has the potential to take the 5G technologies from the lab to a real operator. This work can ultimately benefit wireless consumers with vastly increased speed and connectivity and to transform the communications landscape of the future.”