Sprint customers in Atlanta will be among the first wave of people to get access to faster 5G data speeds.
Sprint announced Tuesday that it plans to begin installing the technology in six U.S. cities, which will lay the foundation for 5G to be deployed in 2019. The cities include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.
Starting in April, Sprint says it will start rolling out Massive MIMO radios in Atlanta, an advanced network technology that the company calls “a critical bridge” to 5G. Massive MIMO can deliver up to 10-times the capacity of current LTE systems, the company said, which is important for people in high-traffic areas like dense city centers.
Sprint says its 5G mobile network will be available in the first half of 2019.
The Sprint news follows its competitor AT&T’s announcement that Atlanta, Dallas and Waco, Texas will be the first cities to receive 5G wireless, with an additional nine cities to be named at a later date. T-Mobile announced its 5G will first be available in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Dallas. Verizon said it plans to roll out 5G residential broadband service in Sacramento later this year.
Customers will need a 5G-compatible device to access the increased data speeds, and those devices are expected to be available next year.