Initial LTE-LAA Rollout Planned by End of Year

AT&T and Ericsson conduct one of the first-ever live LTE-LAA field trials, reaching initial wireless speeds of more than 750 megabits per second (Mbps) in downtown San Francisco.

LTE-LAA technology is expected to play a key role as we aim to reach theoretical peak speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) at some small cell sites by the end of the year. It’s also one of the technologies we’re using to enhance the network and boost speeds in our 5G Evolution markets.

While 5G standards are still being finalized, we’re laying the foundation for tomorrow’s faster wireless speeds today with 5G Evolution and also with technologies like LTE-LAA. This is a major step on our journey to deliver state-of-the-art 5G speeds as early as late 2018.

“We’re excited to be the one of the first carriers to have made our first successful LTE-LAA test and reach blazing fast speeds,” said Marachel Knight, senior vice president, Wireless Network Architecture and Design.  “As demand continues to grow at a rapid pace on our network, being able to offer customers not only fast speeds, but also increased capacity by combining licensed and unlicensed spectrum is an important milestone.”

This is not the first time we’ve demonstrated the ultra-fast speeds enabled by LTE-LAA. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we showed how users could reach speeds up to 1Gbps by using technologies LTE-LAA in tandem with carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO and 256 QAM.

LTE-LAA combines unlicensed spectrum with licensed spectrum through carrier aggregation to increase network capacity— providing faster speeds and a better customer experience. It is designed to exist in harmony with other unlicensed spectrum technologies such as Wi-Fi. This is done through a feature called “listen before talk”, which ensures fair coexistence between LTE-LAA and Wi-Fi.

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