Sprint said it has “launched” a faster 4G LTE service that can deliver “gigabit class” speeds to mobile customers.
The service is not yet available to consumers and relied on a Motorola Mobility smartphone that is not yet on the market. The phone used technology from Qualcomm that will be available in other handsets in the future, said Günther Ottendorfer, Sprint’s chief operating officer for technology.
“I cannot release any specifics because we are not authorized by these guys,” Ottendorfer said.
Sprint reached data speeds of 700 megabits per second several times during its use of the service Wednesday at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans before a National Basketball Association game. It reached 800 and 900 megabits a few times.
It was, according to the company’s announcement, “the first U.S. deployment of gigabit class LTE live on a commercial network with a forthcoming flagship premium tier smartphone.”
Achieving the speed in a 4G LTE service required Sprint to update software at the base station providing service.
Ottendorfer said Overland Park-based Sprint plans to work throughout 2017 similarly updating other base stations in its network. He said the rollout is part of Sprint’s push toward 5G service and will provide backup speeds similar to “first-generation” 5G services, though without some other key features of 5G.