AT&T Mobility's (NYSE:T) 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.
AT&T Unite hotspot
"We are complete with the validation from an infrastructure standpoint. As we implement second carriers in the markets, meaning add a spectrum band of LTE, typically either AWS or 1900, we will be able to take care of that with carrier aggregation. It will be rolled out over time as we add capacity in the network," AT&T's Kris Rinne, senior vice president of network architecture and planning at AT&T Labs, told FierceWirelessTech during an interview last week.
Carrier aggregation allows carriers to meld together disparate bands of spectrum for wider channels, thus supporting faster download speeds and additional network capacity.
AT&T has made no secret of its plans to implement carrier aggregation. AT&T in 2011 disclosed it planned to use carrier aggregation to make use of the 700 MHz spectrum it purchased from Qualcomm in 2010 for $1.93 billion.
But AT&T is not alone in pushing for carrier aggregation technology. Sprint (NYSE:S) has said it too will use the technology as part of its Sprint Spark service, which combines LTE across the carrier's 800 MHz, 1900 MHz and 2.5 GHz spectrum. And Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) has said it expects to use carrier aggregation to combine data transmissions over its AWS and 700 MHz spectrum to improve speeds and capacity sometime this year.
- see this FWT Hot Seat with AT&T's Kris Rinne
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