[Update: 4 More Cities] Sprint announces its 5G network launch plans
Whether carriers admit it or not, 5G is still a very experimental technology and not many users care about it. With that being said, OEMs are still speeding to get out as many 5G devices as possible. Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G is the first commercial smartphone which supports 5G networks. The LG V50 ThinQ is the runner-up. Unfortunately for the company, Samsung’s launch didn’t go according to the plan. The buyers of the Galaxy S10 5G in South Korea are complaining about severe connectivity issues. Switching between 4G and 5G isn’t straightforward, which is surprising in 2019.
Coincidentally, LG is also facing issues with the 5G network. The LG V50 ThinQ was first announced at MWC and was planned to launch on April 19th. Unfortunately, LG has announced that they’re delaying the launch of the device due to the issues with 5G. The details behind the issues are not disclosed, but LG says it works closely with Qualcomm and local carriers to improve the quality of the 5G network. The company isn’t able to share the new release date just yet, so we don’t know how long the delay will last.
LG V50 ThinQ was supposed to be the direct competitor of Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G. I was quite excited for the release as it is, in my opinion, a big step forward for LG’s V series of devices. With that being said, I think delaying the launch is a good idea. Releasing the flawed device (or a device which has flawed network capabilities) isn’t something LG can afford at this time. Fixing the 5G network with modem suppliers and carriers may also help Samsung in some ways. Whatever the case may be, I fully support LG to take as much time as needed to perfect the device and release a true, worthy competitor to the market.
Update 1: New launch date?
Business Korea reports that LG is ready to launch the LG V50 ThinQ on May 10th. The company apparently agreed on the new rollout schedule last week. According to the report, LG feels they can’t delay the device anymore in fear that public interest in 5G phones will fade. LG has not yet officially confirmed the new launch date. We will update this article as soon as they do.
Source: Business Korea
Update 2: Sprint launch
Sprint has announced that they will be opening up pre-orders for the LG V50 ThinQ 5G on May 17th. The device will be available on May 31st. Sprint is also launching the HTC 5G Hub. Both devices will be available in Sprint’s 5G markets, which includes Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Kansas City right now, and Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. in the coming weeks.
- LG V50 ThinQ 5G: $24 per month for 18 months with $0 down with Sprint Flex lease. Only available on the Sprint Unlimited Premium plan.
- HTC 5G Hub: $12.50 per month for 24 months. Activate the HTC 5G Hub with 100GB of high-speed data for just $60 per month.
Update 3: 5G live today, Galaxy S10 coming soon
As mentioned in the previous update, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G is now available from Sprint and 5G has gone live in 4 cities: Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Kansas City. Unlike AT&T and Verizon’s mmWave 5G networks, Sprint’s 5G network is sub-6GHz. Their “split mode” approach allows devices to combine 5G NR and LTE Advanced for more consistent coverage.
You may have noticed that photos of Verizon speed tests in Chicago are all from the same street corners. That’s a limitation of the mmWave technology. Sprint is using the same cell towers that they already have around the country and adding new radios. The speeds may not be as head-turning as what we’ve seen from Verizon, but it will be more consistent and actually usable indoors. Sprint’s network can still hit very high speeds of 700 Mbps, but most of the time you’ll get around 300 Mbps. Sprint says customers can expect to consistently get over 100 Mbps. You can see 5G coverage (dark yellow) in the 4 cities below. Look up your own coverage here.
The LG V50 ThinQ 5G and HTC 5G Hub are both available now, but there is another device on the way. Sprint says the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G will be available on their 5G network “beginning this summer.” 5G devices require the Unlimited Premium plan, which includes unlimited data, talk, text, and Hulu, Amazon Prime, Twitch Prime, Tidal HiFi, and 100GB LTE mobile hotspot. One line with autopay costs $80 per month. Sprint 5G users will also get access to the Hatch game-streaming service.
Update 4: Galaxy S10 5G launching June 21
Last month, along with its 5G network going live, Sprint announced the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G would be launching soon. Today, Sprint made that official and gave the device a June 21st launch date. Pre-orders begin today and customers who buy the device early will save $250 up front and pay $40.28 per month with $0 down on a Sprint Flex Lease. The Galaxy S10 5G will be available on Sprint’s “Unlimited Premium” plan, which includes unlimited talk, text, data and free Hulu, Amazon Prime, Twitch Prime, Tidal HiFi, full HD streaming, and 100GB LTE mobile hotspot. And just like the LG V50, customers get access to the Hatch cloud gaming service.
Update 5: 4 More Cities
Sprint’s 5G network is now live in Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. This brings their total number of cities up to nine. Sprint CEO Michel Combes said, “With our initial nine market launches complete, it is just the start of what we can achieve with T-Mobile, together building a better, faster, nationwide mobile 5G network that benefits all U.S. businesses and consumers.” Sprint also continues to expand the coverage in the previously lit up cities.
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