Gigabit LTE coverage extends to 920 markets; plans to deploy LAA

SAN JOSE, Calif.–In the race to boost capacity while optimizing usage of network resources, T-Mobile US today announced that it has deployed gigabit LTE in 920 U.S. markets, which the operator says outpaces “every other national wireless company.”

Gigabit LTE has three primary building blocks: 4×4 multiple-input, multiple output (MIMO), 256 QAM and multi-channel carrier aggregation. T-Mobile currently has carrier aggregation, 256 QAM and 4×4 MIMO live in 430 markets.

 T-Mobile US also released plans to use License Assisted Access (LAA) small cells to provide additional capacity boosts by tapping into unlicensed spectrum bands. LAA is key to gaining broader adoption of gigabit LTE in that many operators don’t have the licensed spectrum necessary to upgrade to networks based on the LTE-Advanced specification without also aggregating unlicensed bands. Verizon earlier this year announced plans to take LAA nationwide.

Qualcomm has been instrumental in the global development of gigabit LTE, including the first deployment with Australian operator Telstra, which in various stages of testing and deployment by some 41 operators in 24 countries. It’s Snapdragon 835 processor and X16 modem are present in many flagship smartphones including the LG V30, Samsung Galaxy S8, Google Pixel 2 and the Apple iPhone X.

“Global momentum for Gigabit Class LTE is continuing to pick up around the world, and we’re delighted that T-Mobile is planning to deliver gigabit connectivity to millions of consumers in the United States,” Mike Finley, senior vice president and president, Qualcomm North America and Australia, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., said in a statement. “In addition to providing blazing fast mobile connectivity, gigabit-class LTE enables operators to expand network capacity to accommodate increasing demands by unlimited data plans, and increases overall spectral efficiency, enabling faster speeds for all users in the network.”

T-Mobile US Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray said, “Gigabit class LTE technology is part of the secret sauce behind our success – and why others are struggling under the weight of unlimited – and we’re only continuing to advance with LAA on the horizon.”

Qualcomm and T-Mobile US are hosting a joint event today in San Jose, Calif., to demonstrate gigabit LTE user experiences.

Editors note: Qualcomm provided travel expenses to this event. 

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