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AT&T Targeting Summer Launch for LTE in WCS Spectrum

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Mar 30, 2015, 12:30 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

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.

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