There's been a lot of talk about 5G lately, and this week some major progress has been made in the march to 5G availability.
The first 5G NR specification is now complete. The spec was ratified at the 3GPP TSG RAN meeting in Lisbon, Portugal. Qualcomm says that the completion of the first 5G NR standard enables the mobile industry to start development of 5G NR for trials and commercial deployments as soon as 2019.
The specifications for 5G NR include low, mid, and high-band spectrum, including 600MHz and 700MHz all the way up to 50GHz. Sprint issued a statement today confirming that its 2.5GHz spectrum band is included in the 5G NR specification. It added that with more than 160MHz of 2.5GHz spectrum in the top 100 U.S. markets, Sprint has the largest nationwide block of sub-6GHz 5G spectrum in the U.S.
We've still got some time before carriers start rolling out 5G coverage and manufacturers release 5G-capable smartphones, but this 5G NR specification is an important step toward 5G networks.