With just a few weeks on the job, Tom Keathley is already well-versed in all aspects of AT&T's network. Keathley, a long-time AT&T veteran, was named the company's senior vice president of network and product planning replacing Kris Rinne, who retired at the end of November. Keathley recently spoke with FierceWirelessTech Editor in Chief Sue Marek about the company's progress with carrier aggregation and VoLTE and shared his vision of 5G and the future of the wireless network. The following is an excerpt of that conversation.
When LTE was first conceived in the middle of the last decade, the focus was on providing a flat IP architecture optimized for broadband connectivity. This included placing the air interface protocol functions at the base station and using wide frequency bandwidth with multiple-antenna technology that OFDM technology enables in silicon at relatively low cost. It is an approach that reversed centralization of high-layer functions, such as scheduling, in 3G networks.
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