Wednesday, June 28, 2017

T-Mobile trials LAA enabling 741 Mbit/s data rate on commercial network in LA

Deutsche Telekom unit T-Mobile in the U.S., serving nearly 73 million customers, has announced what it claims is a network first with the demonstration of a mobile broadband data session live in the field utilising License Assisted Access (LAA) on its commercial network.

The field testing, which was launched in Los Angeles, achieved a 741 Mbit/s download speed using 80 MHz of aggregated spectrum.

T-Mobile also claims to have become the first national U.S. wireless carrier to make LTE-U available to its customers. LTE-U uses publicly available 5 GHz airwaves to increase existing LTE capacity and enhance the performance of its advanced 4G LTE network. T-Mobile LTE-U technology is now live in select locations in Bellevue, Washington, Brooklyn, New York, Dearborn, Michigan, Las Vegas, Nevada, Richardson, Texas and Simi Valley, California.

For T-Mobile customers in these locations, LTE-U is available immediately to users with compatible smartphones. The company noted that LTE-U provides similar speed and capacity increases as the technologies it introduced in the fall of 2016, when it launched carrier aggregation, 256QAM and 4 x 4 MIMO, while utilising less licensed spectrum.

T-Mobile noted that the FCC announced it would permit LTE in unlicensed spectrum earlier this year, thereby allowing wireless providers to use unlicensed spectrum in the 5 GHz band that is often under-utilised. T-Mobile then began to rollout new network hardware to support LTE in unlicensed spectrum. LTE-U and LAA-enabled devices and equipment share under-utilised unlicensed spectrum without affecting other users on the same band, including those using conventional WiFi.

The company stated that LAA enables greater carrier aggregation than LTE-U, allowing mobile operators to combine larger amounts of unlicensed and licensed spectrum. T-Mobile added that as part of its plans to further densify its mobile network, it will begin deploying small cells featuring LAA functionality later in 2017.



  • T-Mobile confirmed in February that that it was deploying LTE-U technology following FCC certification of suitable equipment from strategic partners Ericsson and Nokia. At that time, the operator stated that using LTE-U it would enable customers to utilise the first 20 MHz of under-utilised unlicensed spectrum on the 5 GHz band to gain LTE capacity.


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