AT&T has said it has deployed commercial LTE-Licensed Assisted Access (LTE-LAA) technologies in downtown Indianapolis, with the promise to continue the rollout through 2017.
The technology has been billed as one of the steps towards 5G, and the holy grail of 1 Gbps speeds, as it enables the combination of licensed and unlicensed spectrum, to increase the capacity of mobile networks.
“We’re excited to be the first carrier to commercially deploy LTE-LAA technology for our customers in parts of Indianapolis,” said Bill Soards, President AT&T Indiana. “Demand continues to grow at a rapid pace on our network. That’s why offering customers the latest technologies and increased wireless capacity by combining licensed and unlicensed spectrum is an important milestone.”
Of course, this is only one development in the road towards 5G. Specifically in Indianapolis, AT&T has also flouted its 256 QAM, 4×4 MIMO and 3-way carrier aggregation progress as well. By combining all of these technologies, AT&T now claims to have delivered speeds which double that experienced on standard LTE networks in Austin and Indianapolis.
While this is another step towards the goal of 5G, which can be realized by late 2018 according to AT&T, this is a pretty good one. Making use of unlicensed spectrum is certainly an area most carriers will be keeping an eye on, due to the cost and performance advantages which can be achieved.
In previous field tests, AT&T claim to have achieved peak speeds of 979 Mbps, but to even get close to these speeds you will of course have to have the right device. In this instance, it is a Samsung Galaxy Note8.