T-Mobile has announced the first rollout of its unlicensed LTE strategy in the USA, which lets carriers attach themselves to spectrum in the 5GHz range that is traditionally used for Wi-Fi signals. With this technology, T-Mobile can combine unlicensed and licensed spectrum (with greater carrier aggregation than LTE-U) to offer more bandwidth and faster speeds.
First up, T-Mobile says that it’s the first US carrier to test Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology in the field.
“LAA is the the latest example of how T-Mobile is innovating the way forward”.
T-Mobile is the first national wireless provider to make LTE-U available to customers. T-Mobile didn’t identify the compatible smartphones in its release, but Samsung’s Galaxy S8 was the first LTE-U consumer device to hit the market.
T-Mobile said the field tests will help it test new products in a controlled environment outside the lab. This technology uses unlicensed spectrum in the 5GHz band to get more capacity and faster speeds for customers. While our competitors scramble to deal with the way unlimited data plans are slowing down their networks, we’re already moving on to what’s next. LAA and LTE-U use underutilized spectrum and other users on the same band, including Wi-Fi users, are unaffected.
AT&T launched its “5G Evolution” initiative – which despite the name, utilizes LTE Advanced Pro technologies – in April in Austin, Tex. and plans to have support in more than 20 major metro areas by the end of 2017, including Indianapolis, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville and San Francisco. It also enables more carrier aggregation than LTE-U.
For more information on T-Mobile’s network, visit www.t-mobile.com/coverage.
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