According to a report published by Fierce Wireless, major US mobile operator AT&T is confirming that it too can play the multiple channel carrier aggregation game. As a matter of fact, the second biggest wireless carrier in the United States has revealed that it is also rolling out three channel carrier aggregation on its LTE network, which means it is now joining the rest of the Big Four (Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and Sprint) in deploying this form of wireless tech.
As explained by Steven Schwadron, a spokesperson for AT&T, the company began its strategic roll out of LTE-A in the early part of 2014, and fast forwarding a couple of years later, it has since continued to improve its LTE-A coverage, servicing a big majority of its subscriber base in its LTE coverage area. Schwadron also pointed out that the wireless carrier is working to keep on incorporating extra spectrum and equipment in order to continuously enhance its overall LTE network performance. While Schwadron mentioned that AT&T is rolling out its 3 channel carrier aggregation into high density and high traffic locations, he did not provide any details regarding which specific spectrum bands AT&T is merging via carrier aggregation, nor the specific areas of coverage.
When it comes to multiple channel carrier aggregation, many industry watchers fully expect AT&T to join in on the fun sooner or later. After all, back in 2014, AT&T executive John Donovan did state that the mobile operator would roll out carrier aggregation technology as soon as it acquired new spectrum to combine together. Another AT&T exec, Tom Keathley, also said a year ago that the company had boosted its carrier aggregation efforts in order to provide coverage in major cities such as New York, Dallas, and San Francisco.
Still, AT&T confirming that it is deploying three channel carrier aggregation is an interesting development, especially when one considers that the whole wireless industry in the US is mainly focusing on two channel carrier aggregation. For sure, combining a pair of spectrum already results to significantly faster download speeds, but what three channel carrier aggregation does is incorporate another spectrum, often a PCS spectrum, that allows for even better transmission quality.
Needless to say, the level of competition has just intensified. A few days ago, T-Mobile boasted that its data network was now two times as fast through its 4x4 MIMO. And about a fortnight ago, Sprint had held a live demo of its 3 channel carrier aggregation at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium. Around the same time, industry leader Verizon Wireless had also reported that it was rolling out its LTE Advanced.
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