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Sprint completes 5G data call

Sprint Corp. said on Jan. 10 that it was the first cellular provider to transmit 5G data on the 2.5 GHz spectrum via its wireless network.

The company said the trial was a step ahead in the company's plan to launch a mobile 5G service in the first half of 2019.

The 5G trial, conducted in San Diego, was done in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies Inc. and Nokia Corp. A mobile phone, which had Qualcomm's X50 5G modem, streamed videos and conducted video and voice calls over a 5G network with Nokia's AirScale radio.

5G is considered a successor to 4G, and the Sprint trial was based on the 3GPP 5G New Radio specification, which will be the foundation for high data-rate 5G communications via mobile phones and fixed wireless. The 2.5 GHz spectrum provides fast data transfers over long distances.

Sprint's 5G network over the 2.5 GHz spectrum will first reach nine U.S. cities — Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. — in the first half of 2019.

The wireless carrier also said it will carry 5G smartphones from Samsung Group and LG Electronics Inc., and a mobile hub from HTC Corp.