T-Mobile US is working to enhance its LTE network with Nokia Networks, which indicated that it will enable carrier-aggregation technology for the carrier.
T-Mobile US plans to enhance its LTE network coverage footprint over the next year or so using its 1900 MHz PCS spectrum, all while continuing to modernize its network with LTE Advanced components, according to a senior network executive at the carrier.
Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom's Slovak Telecom business unit achieved data speeds of 300 Mbps in over-the-air field trials for intraband contiguous LTE carrier aggregation. The trials were the first for LTE Band 7, 2.6 GHz spectrum, using a 20+20 MHz configuration in a field environment, Ericsson said.
LTE Advanced is advancing. According to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), 79 carriers in total have launched, have deployed or are trialing LTE Advanced technologies in their networks. The GSA also said 21 operators have launched LTE Advanced carrier aggregation in 14 countries.
Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will support Sprint's tri-band LTE Spark service, the carrier confirmed, giving Sprint a much-needed boost since it is relying on Spark to set it apart from other carriers. However, it's unclear how much of an advantage that will give Sprint as it works to deploy the Spark network, especially because the new iPhone does not support carrier aggregation for Sprint's 2.5 GHz spectrum.
Carrier aggregation is a key feature of LTE advanced, delivering more efficient capacity utilisation and faster speeds; but LTE Advanced can deliver so much more, including heterogeneous network capabilities in particular. Coordinating the low-power layer of small cells with the macro network improves performance across the entire network while also further boosting efficiencies in spectrum use and power consumption, automating network configuration and optimisation.
According to analyst firm ABI Research, carriers across the world are moving apace toward LTE-Advanced technology. The firm estimated there are currently roughly 60 LTE-Advanced trials, commitments and commercial deployments worldwide, of which 22 commitments were from Western Europe, 16 from Asia-Pacific, and five from North America.
Huawei and LG Uplus signed a memorandum of understanding under which they will create a joint Mobile Innovation Center (MIC) in Seoul, South Korea, where the companies will work on LTE Advanced carrier aggregation, small cells and 5G technologies.
Singapore operator SingTel introduced the Huawei 5786 mobile MiFi hotspot device, enabling SingTel to claim it is the world's first mobile operator to offer commercial 300 Mbps service using LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation.
The South Korean mobile communications market is one of the world's most competitive and innovative. That keeps the pressure on SK Telecom, South Korea's largest mobile service provider, to find way to keep implementing cutting-edge technologies. Editor Tammy Parker recently conducted an email Q&A with Alex Jinsung Choi, executive vice president and head of SK Telecom's ICT R&D division, regarding the operator's roadmaps for LTE-Advanced and 5G. The following is an edited and condensed version of that Q&A.