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Verizon Says LTE-Advanced Features On Deck for 2015

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Dec 4, 2014, 3:09 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Verizon Wireless has a number of improvements to its LTE network planned for 2015 that will boost coverage, capacity, and speeds, according to Mike Haberman, vice president of network support for Verizon. First, Verizon will implement carrier aggregation, which pairs disparate spectrum bands so they act as one. For example, it will use carrier aggregation to pair LTE service on its 700MHz spectrum with its AWS spectrum. The combined spectrum (20x20Mhz channel in AWS and 10x10Mhz channel in 700MHz) will result in 30x30MHz channels. Haberman said this will help improve peak speeds, though average network speeds will remain about the same. Verizon will eventually add carrier aggregation to its PCS spectrum as it ramps down EVDO in favor of LTE. Beyond carrier aggregation, Verizon plans to introduce eICIC (enhanced inter-cell interference coordination), which lets the macro cellular network coordinate coverage and reduce interference with small-cell deployments in the same area. Last, Verizon said it will introduce higher orders of MIMO (multiple in, multiple out) to LTE. Verizon's LTE devices all use 2x2 MIMO, but it may upgrade its cell towers to 4x4 MIMO to improve uplink performance. Haberman said Verizon likely won't use 4x4 MIMO on handsets, as the gains in downlink performance likely won't offset the higher cost of the handset.

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