Sprint announced its second 5G device today, a smart hub that will be built by HTC. As was the case when the carrier said that its first 5G smartphone will come from LG, there were few details provided.
The device will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 modem, which is the component used in most 5G devices that have been announced so far, at least in North America. No other specifics were provided, such as what the device will be called or what kinds of data speeds it will be capable of.
"We’re excited to continue building our 5G device portfolio and announce another way our customers can be among the first to experience Sprint 5G next year," said Dr. John Saw, Sprint chief technology officer. "This innovative product will allow customers on the go, at work or at home to enjoy Sprint 5G on multiple devices with incredibly fast connectivity for content sharing, mobile gaming, entertainment and so much more."
5G NR works off of millimeter waves and sub-6GHz waves. The former is capable of speeds of up to 5Gbps, but interference is tricky, and the smallest item can block the signal, like a leaf from a tree. That's why initial devices that we're seeing, such as Motorola's 5G Moto Mod, is big and bulky, because these things are packed with antennas.
But the good news is that with a smart hub, which seems to be a mobile hotspot based on the announcement, can power multiple devices, even those that weren't built for 5G. With the speeds that 5G will bring, you'll be able to download full movies in seconds, play online games with virtually no lag, and more.
"We are thrilled to be working closely with Sprint on this innovative new design," said Cher Wang, HTC CEO. "This collaboration brought our cutting-edge technology together with Sprint’s industry-leading 5G network to create the next generation smart devices."
HTC's smart hub will be available in the first half of 2018, which is when Sprint's 5G network will launch. It will start off in nine cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C.