During a recent media and analyst event jointly held with chip maker Qualcomm, T-Mobile took the opportunity to reveal that its Gigabit LTE service is now live in at least 430 markets across the United States. Looking at the bigger picture, the Uncarrier’s LTE Advanced (LTE-A) network now covers over 920 markets in America.
The third biggest wireless carrier in the country also announced that it is planning to roll out LAA (which is short for Licensed Assisted Access) on small cells before the end of the year in order to increase its network densification. Some may remember that back in June earlier this year, T-Mobile had completed the first LTE-U (LTE Unlicensed) launch in the US (albeit in a limited number of locations). But it appears that the company is now settings its sights on further deployments of LAA, which is considered a more advanced tech as compared to LTE-U.
As stated by Neville Ray, the chief technical officer of T-Mobile, via a press release, the carrier’s countrywide LTE coverage should now rival that of industry leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T, while its connection speeds are only getting better. The current network quality is not only powered by Gigabit Class LTE, but also has plenty of room for improvement thanks to upcoming additional LAA roll outs.
Various carriers have already taken full advantage of LTE-A in enhancing network speeds, but T-Mobile appears to be adeptly combining carrier aggregation, 4 X 4 MIMO (multiple input, multiple output), and 256 QAM in attaining even faster speeds. More importantly for T-Mobile’s subscribers, especially those who already own Gigabit Class LTE compatible handsets, they could experience these enhanced speeds first hand if they are based in any one of the 430 markets.
The last few months have seen increased appreciation of Gigabit LTE, specifically after chip making giant Qualcomm debuted its Snapdragon X16 LTE modem a year ago. The Snapdragon X16 happens to be the first commercially announced modem to come with support for Gigabit Class LTE connection speeds.
For the members of the Big Four (namely Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint), however, Gigabit LTE would be crucial in allowing these carriers to efficiently handle the ever increasing video content traffic. With the onset of the so-called unlimited data wars, consumers now have more reason to watch streamed video content through their mobile devices. And because Gigabit LTE also delivers increased network capacity, it would contribute immensely in bringing the concept of the Internet of Things to life, as well as help usher in the 5G era.
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