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CES 2019: Sprint unveils smart home Magic Box, confirms Samsung 5G phone


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(Image: Sprint)

Sprint has confirmed that it will be launching a Samsung 5G smartphone in summer 2019, as well as unveiling the smart home small cell solution with LTE called Trebl with Magic Box at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.

The Sprint Trebl with Magic Box is Alexa-integrated to allow control of other smart home devices, such as the Harman Kardon sound that has 2x 8-watt speakers, three built-in far-field microphones, an embedded amp, Bluetooth, and noise and echo cancellation.

“At its core, Sprint Trebl with Magic Box is a completely wireless small cell that provides Sprint customers with enhanced LTE data coverage and speed-boosting capabilities,” Sprint explained.

More than 270,000 units of Sprint’s Magic Box — of which the carrier unveiled an updated version during Mobile World Congress Americas (MWCA) Los Angeles in September — have now been deployed across the United States.

The Samsung 5G smartphone, meanwhile, will connect to Sprint’s LTE and 5G networks, using its 2.5GHz, 1.9GHz, and 800MHz spectrum bands.

“Samsung is one of our key 5G network infrastructure Massive MIMO providers, so we are delighted that they will also deliver one of our first 5G smartphones, putting blazing fast connectivity right into our customers’ hands,” Sprint CTO Dr John Saw said on Monday.

The Samsung announcement comes after Sprint previously revealed in August that it is working with LG on the first 5G smartphone for the US in the first half of 2019, which will follow the launch of the carrier’s 5G network at the beginning of this year.

At the time, LG Electronics North America CEO William Cho said the tech company’s near 20-year partnership with Sprint will expand, with Sprint’s 5G experts to partner with LG in designing of the phone.

Saw told ZDNet during Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in February last year that his carrier has the best 5G spectrum

, with Sprint choosing its initial six 5G markets of Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Houston due to their high traffic and its spectrum holdings.

Sprint in May added New York City, Phoenix, and Kansas City to its 5G rollout roadmap.

See also: More CES coverage

In November, Sprint also announced that it is working with Qualcomm and Chinese tech company HTC to develop a 5G mobile smart hub to be released in the US during the first half of 2019.

The device will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform using the Snapdragon X50 5G modem, and will enable both 5G and gigabit LTE across multiple devices.

The carrier at the end of last year also said it is now providing more than 225 cities with gigabit-speed LTE, calling its network upgrades the stepping stones to 5G.

Included in the gigabit-capable cities are New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Miami, Indianapolis, and Phoenix.

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