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Sprint to show off 5G at Google I/O

A trial run before its big push later this month.


Sprint 5G


Google I/O 2019 starts Tuesday, and attendees of the event will get to try out 5G speeds thanks to Sprint.

The mobile carrier said it'll provide its Sprint 5G network at the conference, held at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. Sprint said it'll use Ericsson 5G Massive MIMO radios to deliver both a 5G and LTE signal. Since it's unlikely those attending will have a 5G phone on them, Sprint will have the LG V50 ThinQ 5G on-hand to demo the network's speed.

"The demos are going to be focused on the realm of the impossible," said Ryan Sullivan, vice president of product engineering and development at Sprint. "An event like this is more important than events in the past. This is the first time we're able to demonstrate 5G in an environment where we're putting 5G in the hands of the people that will bring it to the consumers."

Attendees at the event will see how the carriers new network can handle 4K streaming via YouTube as well as augmented-reality and virtual-reality apps making use of Google Lens, the search engine's image recognition technology.  

Sprint announced in February that its 5G service would begin rolling out across four cities in May and then to another five cities by the end of the year. Sullivan said the company is looking to provide customers with a truly mobile 5G experience with three to five times speed improvement over the current average, topping up to 2GB.

The first phone to run on the carrier's new network will be the LG V50 ThinQ 5G with an expected release day on May 10, and later in the summer, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.

Originally published May 7, 8:15 a.m. PT.
Update, 10:30 a.m.: Adds Sullivan quote and more info on demos.