Sprint today flipped the switch on its 5G network in Chicago. This is the fifth Sprint 5G market, following launches in Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Kansas City in May. Sprint says that it plans to launch 5G in Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington D.C. in the coming weeks.
Approximately 700,000 Chicago residents are now covered by Sprint 5G, which reaches from IL-64 in the north to Stevenson Expressway in the south and from California Avenue in the west to the edge of Lake Michigan in the east. Sprint customers will be able to find 5G on the Magnificent Mile, River North, Millennium Park, River Front, The Loop and Grant Park, as well as the neighborhoods of Gold Coast, Old Town, West Loop, Ukrainian Village, Medical Village, University of Illinois at Chicago, South Loop, and more.
In order to get on Sprint's 5G network, you'll need a 5G-compatible device. Sprint currently offers two smartphones with 5G support — the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and LG V50 ThinQ 5G — as well as the HTC 5G Hub mobile hotspot.
Digging a bit deeper into Sprint's 5G network, the carrier says it's using 64T64R (64 transmitters 64 receivers) 5G Massive MIMO radios in Chicago. These radios support Split Mode, which allows Sprint to offer both LTE Advanced and 5G service. Sprint's 5G uses 2.5GHz mid-band spectrum. Sprint touts that it can also use Dual Connectivity technology to deliver 4G LTE and 5G simultaneously to a customer's device to boost download speeds.
It's great to see Sprint continue to expand its 5G network by launching in another major city like Chicago. While 5G is definitely still in early days, Sprint's 5G coverage in Chicago doesn't look too bad for anyone who wants to be a 5G early adopter and get a 5G-capable smartphone now