Sprint to kick off 5G demos with LG V50 in Dallas

After a rough start, Verizon showed off the blazing speeds that come from 5G. Now it’s Sprint’s turn. 

In a bid to show off its 5G readiness, the country’s fourth-largest network operator will demo its next-gen cellular network in Dallas on Thursday to a handful of publications before it launches for consumers.

After years of hype, 5G is finally becoming reality. Phone makers are pushing 5G smartphones into the pipeline this year and the next, and mobile carriers are racing to deploy the shiny, new networks as soon as they can.

Sprint is just the latest to company to hitch its wagon to the excitement over 5G. In perfect conditions, 5G will allow us to download 4K movies in a snap or stream AR/VR games without lag. Beyond phones, it could revolutionize whole industries, from self-driving cars to remote medical procedures. 5G is still a work in progress, though, and is years away from reaching those levels of speed, coverage or reliability. But Sprint wants to be there (and profit) when it happens.

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Thursday’s event in Dallas is similar to the two Verizon hosted in April and May when it introduced its 5G network in Chicago and Minneapolis to varying degrees of success. 

In addition to Dallas, Sprint has turned on its 5G network in three other cities: Atlanta, Kansas City and Houston.

It’s unclear how the Sprint 5G roadmap looks if T-Mobile successfully completes its $26.5 billion merger that the FCC approved last week. On its own, T-Mobile plans to launch 5G services in 30 US cities in the second half of 2019.

Sprint’s 5G is based on a 2.5GHz mid-band radio airwaves, and I will test the network using LG’s first 5G phone: the premium LG V50 ThinQ, which features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 5G modem (the same found on the Galaxy S10E 5G). I’ll make my way through various spots around Dallas, testing data speeds on Sprint, so stick around as I update this piece continually through the day. (For a deeper dive on 5G-related terms, read Techhnews’s 5G FAQ.)  

Editors’ note: This is a developing story. Check back for updates as we run data tests throughout the day.

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