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Sprint and Samsung Test Massive MIMO Technology in South Korea to Deliver 1Gbps Service

Massive MIMO will dramatically boost wireless capacity; Companies prepare for U.S. deployment with speeds to push well beyond 1 Gbps


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Overland Park, Kans. - June 20, 2017 - On the streets of Suwon, South Korea, Sprint (NYSE: S) and Samsung Electronics America, Inc. recently tested Massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) on 2.5 GHz spectrum, technology, which will be used to dramatically boost wireless capacity. The massive MIMO test represented a real-world environment application of the new technology, which is designed to help wireless network operators deliver more capacity and coverage to their customers.

During field testing in Suwon, Massive MIMO Samsung radios, equipped with vertical and horizontal beam-forming technology, reached peak speeds of 330 Mbps per channel using a 20 MHz channel of 2.5 GHz spectrum. Capacity per channel increased about four times, cell edge performance increased three times and overall coverage area improved as compared to current radios.
Sprint has deployed 8T8R radios across its U.S. network and the purpose of the test was to compare the performance of Massive MIMO radios with 8T8R radios. Sprint wrote the test cases and requirements, which included a variety of performance scenarios involving multi-user and non-stationary testing. Samsung provided the massive MIMO network infrastructure as well as test network design, operation, data collection and processing. Both companies will use the results in preparation for commercial deployment of Massive MIMO in the U.S. and other markets.

"The testing in South Korea is an important step towards deploying Massive MIMO in our U.S. network where it will be a real game changer for increasing capacity and further enhancing our customer experience," said Günther Ottendorfer, Chief Operating Officer -Technology, at Sprint. "Massive MIMO is a tremendous differentiator for Sprint because it is easily deployed on 2.5 GHz spectrum due to the small form factor of the radios needed for a high frequency band. In lower frequency bands, wavelengths are much longer and therefore the radios require much larger, impractical form factors. This makes Massive MIMO an important tool for unleashing our deep 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings." "Our recent testing in Suwon delivered impressive capacity and coverage improvements in a real world environment, demonstrating how massive MIMO will greatly improve a customer's wireless service experience" said, Mark Louison, Senior VP and General Manager of Samsung Networks. "Samsung is excited to reach this important milestone with Sprint, as we continue to develop the commercial solution for the coming year that will provide nearly 8x capacity improvements. This is another innovation Samsung will deliver to our technology-forward customers who operate some of the most data-intensive networks in the world."

Gigabit Speed with Massive MIMO

Massive MIMO radios use more antenna elements, for example 64T64R as compared to 2T2R/4T4R/8T8R used in a typical 4G LTE network today. These antennas use advanced horizontal and vertical beamforming technology to focus and transmit cellular signals into targeted locations. This more efficient use of spectrum delivers faster speeds and provides more data capacity to customers in high-traffic locations. When deployed on the network, massive MIMO will provide all mobile device users with performance improvements, those with the latest generation of devices with the most antenna elements will see the best performance. Massive MIMO, a key element of 5G to provide high capacity in densely populated urban centers, can enable LTE network performance well beyond 1 Gbps.

In cities across the U.S., Sprint plans to deploy Massive MIMO radios with 128 antenna elements (64T64R) using its 2.5 GHz spectrum to increase capacity up to eight times. In March, Sprint was the first U.S. carrier to debut Gigabit Class LTE on a live commercial network in New Orleans. There Sprint is using three-channel carrier aggregation and 60 MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum, in combination with 4X4 MIMO and 256-QAM higher order modulation, to achieve Category 16 LTE download data speeds on a TDD network. With Massive MIMO radios using 64T64R, Sprint has the ability to push capacity beyond 1 Gbps to reach 3-6 Gbps per sector.

About Sprint

Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served 59.7 million connections as of March 31, 2017 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the past five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at or and

About Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, N.J., Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA), is a recognized innovative leader in consumer electronics, mobile devices and enterprise solutions. A wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., SEA is pushing beyond the limits of today's technology and providing consumers and organizations with a portfolio of groundbreaking products in appliances, home entertainment, Internet of Things, mobile computing, smartphones, virtual reality, wireless infrastructure and wearables, in addition to offering leading content and services related to mobile payments, 360-degree VR video, customer support and more. Samsung is a pioneering leader in smartphones and HDTVs in the U.S. and one of America's fastest growing home appliance brands. To discover more about Samsung, please visit For the latest Samsung news, please visit and follow us @SamsungNewsUS.