Sprint said spectrum deployments are behind a 33 per cent year-on-year boost in its US average download speed.
The operator cited Ookla Speedtest results which show Sprint’s average download speeds increased between 40 per cent and 100 per cent in more than 25 of the top 99 US markets.
Those results include an 86 per cent boost in Atlanta to 32Mb/s, a 61 per cent increase in Chicago to 32Mb/s, a 55 per cent gain in Los Angeles to 23Mb/s and a 40 per cent bump in Seattle (rival T-Mobile US’ home city) to 35Mb/s.
In a blog post, Sprint COO of Technology Gunther Ottendorfer (pictured) attributed the gains to additional deployments of 2.5GHz spectrum using tools including Sprint’s Magic Box, airpoles and strand mounts (each a type of small cell), and technologies including high power user equipment (HPUE), beamforming and carrier aggregation.
“This broad toolkit enables us to quickly rollout targeted, capital efficient capacity in our network to improve service and meet customer’s growing demand for unlimited data,” he wrote.
With the planned deployment of massive MIMO in the first half of 2018, Ottendorfer said Sprint’s network will gain up to a tenfold increase in speed and capacity.
Sprint will need the help.
The same Ookla results also show Sprint was still at the back of the pack in terms of average US network speed (both upload and download) in the first half of 2017.
T-Mobile was out front with an average of 23.17Mb/s, with Verizon and AT&T close behind at 21.13Mb/s and 20.05Mb/s, respectively. Sprint ranked last with an average speed of 15.39Mb/s, though Ookla noted the operator’s mean download speed was up 23.7 per cent from end-December 2016 to end-June 2017.