Sprint is taking another step toward a nationwide 5G network.
The carrier said Wednesday that its LTE Advanced network is now available nationwide. This upgraded form of 4G means that internet speeds are up to twice as fast as before.
In addition, the company said that Gigabit-class LTE is available in more than 225 cities for phones capable of running it.
is named so because the connection speed peaks at 1 gigabit per second, or the same speed that Google Fiber offers on its landline-based internet connection. In other words, really fast.
Sprint promised in February to build the first nationwide 5G network by early next year. The company said it’ll roll out 5G capabilities to nine cities this year, such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, though customers won’t be able to use 5G until the network launches in 2019. Sprint and T-Mobile have agreed to merge, and T-Mobile has said that together they’ll build the next-generation network faster.
Sprint also said in August that it’s building a 5G smartphone with LG and believed it would be the first to hit the market next year. The carrier continues to build up more 5G-ready infrastructures — Massive MIMO radios — and prepare for the 5G network launch next year, Sprint said.