John Saw, Sprint's chief network officer, said that the carrier plans to expand its tri-band LTE Spark service to a two-carrier configuration toward the end of this year, which he said will result in peak download speeds of 120 Mbps. Then, by the end of 2015, Sprint plans to add another carrier to the configuration of its 2.5 GHz LTE network, which will result in three-carrier peak speeds of 180 Mbps.
Ericsson is more widely publicizing its desire to get 3GPP on board with the idea of enabling LTE for use in unlicensed spectrum, such as that used by Wi-Fi.
AT&T Mobility has started using carrier aggregation technology in Chicago and other markets to boost LTE capacity and speeds on its network, but it will be a little while before many customers can take advantage of the upgraded network.
Another day, another announcement by an operator that it is trialling LTE Advanced services. BASE Belgium is the latest company to reveal that it is testing what is in fact "true" 4G, if you stick precisely to 3G and LTE guidelines. However, the focus is still too much on the advancements in speed, even though for many consumers figures such as "250 Mbps" are virtually meaningless.
SK Telecom said it will build out more 1.8 GHz base stations this year to provide 20 MHz of additional LTE bandwidth across South Korea and announced it is moving closer to rolling out a 10 MHz segment of the 2.1 GHz band that will enable it to provide 40 MHz of carrier-aggregated bandwidth.
Sprint along with Nokia Solutions and Networks demonstrated that a single sector of a TD-LTE network can deliver data throughput of 2.6 Gbps.
While LTE is successfully providing faster services at lower cost in new spectrum, LTE Advanced takes things further by maximising capacity in hot-spots, improving coverage and service quality--particularly at the cell edges. LTE Advanced, with features standardised in 3GPP Releases 10 and 11 optimises the coexistence of large and small cells by coordinating them. These techniques are, unsurprisingly, needed most where demands are high and spectrum holdings are short.
SK Telecom intends to showcase its LTE Advanced three-band carrier aggregation technology next month during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, delivering download speeds of 450 Mbps by aggregating three 20 MHz bands.
AT&T Mobility's Unite hotspot, announced late last year, is the carrier's first device to support carrier aggregation technology. The carrier said it is now poised to implement the technology in select markets across its 700 MHz, 1900 MHz and AWS spectrum.
Malaga, Spain-based AT4 wireless, which runs an international network of testing labs, is using a product from Anite to test LTE devices for operator acceptance programs and is upgrading an Agilent product to enable certification testing services of LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation.