AT&T Targeting Summer Launch for LTE in WCS Spectrum
AT&T plans to begin deploying LTE service in its 2.3GHz WCS spectrum holdings this summer. AT&T acquired some WCS spectrum from NextWave in 2012 and more from Sprint in 2014. AT&T's Tom Keathley, senior vice president of network and product planning, told Fierce Wireless it will use the WCS band to add capacity to its LTE 4G network in markets that need it. "We went out fast to deploy the coverage layer [in 700MHz]. WCS will be a capacity layer. So to the extent that we need capacity in an area, that will be more the indicator of how fast we go." Though deployments will start this summer, Keathley said work will continue into 2016. The company already has handsets on deck that will support the new spectrum band. AT&T expects the deployment will run smoothly. Since most of its cell sites include the necessary antennas, the carrier will need only another remote radio head at each tower. AT&T is already refarming portions of its PCS spectrum to add capacity to its LTE 4G network. AT&T also recently acquired licenses for AWS-3 spectrum from the FCC that it will use to boost downlink performance for its network.
AT&T Finally Using WCS Spectrum for LTE; Will Test LTE-U
AT&T has begun deploying LTE on its 2.3GHz WCS spectrum in a handful of markets around the country. Earlier this year, AT&T said it would begin the deployment by summer, and it is just meeting that commitment.
AT&T Stepping Up Three-Channel Carrier Aggregation
AT&T today confirmed to Fierce Wireless that, like its competitors, it is deploying three-channel carrier aggregation on its LTE 4G network. "We're currently in the process of deploying three-way carrier aggregation on our network," said AT&T spokesman Steven Schwadron in a statement given to Fierce.
Verizon Adding Carrier Aggregation to 20x20MHz Channels
Verizon Wireless is upgrading its LTE network with several different technologies meant to boost capacity and speeds. Mike Haberman, Verizon's VP of network support, said the company is deploying carrier aggregation in its 20x20MHz channels.
Sprint Retires 'Spark' and Launches 'LTE Plus'
Sprint is rebranding its LTE 4G network in an effort to call attention to the technology involved in making the network tick. Sprint LTE Plus replaces the Sprint Spark name for the company's tri-band LTE network, which uses 800MHz, 1.9GHz, and 2.5GHz.
3GPP Approves Band 66 for AWS Support
Dish Networks today said the 3GPP has approved the designation of Band 66, which encompasses a significant swath of AWS spectrum owned by Dish. Specifically, Band 66 pairs 70 MHz of uplink spectrum with 90 MHz of downlink spectrum in the AWS-1, AWS-3, and AWS-4 bands.