Sprint is gearing up to launch 5G wireless service in four cities this spring, the company announced Monday.
Speaking at the 2019 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Sprint CEO Michel Combes said the telecom company will roll out its next generation of wireless service in Kansas City, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas in May.
The launch will eventually expand to New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Houston and Phoenix in the first half of 2019, Sprint said in a news release.
Combes added that pending merger between Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint and T-Mobile, its Bellevue, Washington-based rival, would potentially accelerate the expansion of the company’s 5G offerings.
“We’re excited to play our part in advancing the next generation of wireless technology as we prepare to debut our mobile 5G service in nine markets,” Combes said, according to the news release. “Even better, when combined with T-Mobile we will be able to roll out 5G in more places, more quickly.”
Sprint also revealed the new HTC 5G Hub, a 5-inch hotspot-tablet hybrid that will enable nearby users to connect to the 5G network. Sprint will be the sole carrier of the new device, according to a news release.
To access the new network, customers will need to buy one of the company’s new 5G devices.
Monday’s announcements mark the latest move in a 5G technology race among the largest wireless carriers. Earlier this month, Sprint took its rival AT&T to court claiming the latter’s newly advertised 5GE offering is “nothing more than” an advanced version of existing 4G technology.
Sprint’s foray into 5G services comes amid a renewed and intense political scrutiny over its proposed $26 billion merger with T-Mobile. Critics say the deal, which would consolidate two of the nation’s largest wireless carriers, will reduce competition in the industry.