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Clearwire, which plans to deploy
an LTE Advanced-ready network by June 2013, will be able to deliver theoretical peak speeds of up to 168 Mbps by 2014, according
to CTO John Saw.
Saw told GigaOM that Clearwire plans to use carrier aggregation technology in its forthcoming TD-LTE network
to meld together it spectrum holdings into 40 MHz-wide channels. Such a configuration would give Clearwire spectrum channels
that would be twice as wide (2 X 10 MHz--i.e. 20 MHz) as the FDD LTE channels being deployed by Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility. (However, Verizon and AT&T's 700 MHz spectrum has much better
propagation characteristics than Clearwire' 2.5 GHz spectrum).
Saw that the carrier aggregation technology will not be in commercial products
until 2014. "We're going to start with 20 MHz carriers," he said. "When carrier aggregation comes along we
will go to 40 MHz, which will essentially leave the competition in the dust."
It should be noted that AT&T has openly talked about using
carrier aggregation as well. AT&T has said it will deploy LTE Advanced technology in 2013 and plans to eventually use
carrier aggregation technology to glue together the 700 MHz spectrum it spent $1.93 billion acquiring from Qualcomm with its existing AWS, 1900 MHz or 850 MHz
spectrum holdings. AT&T has said it will cost an additional $1 billion to $2 billion to integrate Qualcomm's spectrum
with its own.
carriers, carrier aggregation technology holds potentially large benefits.
By bonding non-contiguous spectrum into a single, wider channel,
carriers can address the asymmetry of data flows between downlink and uplink channels. The data traffic that is growing the
fastest is video, and it is asymmetrical traffic. As such, carrier aggregation helps operators efficiently manage these downlink
a recent technology conference, Verizon director of network technology Praveen Atreya says that the next-generation of 4G
LTE is already on the carrier’s road map for the future. After Verizon finishes its deployment of 4G LTE across the
nation, the carrier will be upgrading its network infrastructure to the faster LTE-Advanced technology. Rival Clearwire, which is partnering with Sprint, has already announced that it too would look into LTE-Advanced for 4G.
LTE-Advanced offers much faster maximum download speeds than today’s
4G LTE technology. With Verizon claiming and offering real world speeds of up to 15 Mbps on the download side and 6 Mbps on
the upload side, these speeds can be increase many times over with LTE-Advanced. Clearwire’s proposed implementation
could deliver a potential maximum speed of up to 100 Mbps on the download side with small latency.
With AT&T only now beginning to light
up its LTE network and Clearwire eyeing LTE for the future, Verizon Wireless already has a good head start on the next generation
mobile broadband technology, which is capable of delivering up to ten times the speed of 3G.
LTE-Adanced can be seen as an evolution of
4G, and may be similarly named 4G+ similar to how HSPA+ is an evolution of 3G HSPA technology. In the U.S., marketing dictates
that HSPA+ is referred to as 4G due to the speed promises that the technology offers, but in Europe the technology is still
referred to as 3G. It’s unclear if LTE-Advanced will be classified as 4G+ or 5G when it launches.
As we’re already moving into the world
of tiered and metered data plans alongside throttled plans, it’d be interesting to see how the mobile landscape for
data will change once LTE-Advanced hits. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
announced its plans to launch LTE-Advanced network technology in 2013, speeding up the race for high-speed connectivity.
Krish Prabhu, president and CEO of AT&T Labs, made the statement while speaking at the LTE North America conference in
Dallas. A spokeswoman for the carrier later confirmed the announcement, though would not elaborate further on details regarding
Considered a significant upgrade of LTE, LTE-Advanced will allow
operators to improve in capacity and coverage by taking advantage of advanced topology networks. The fast-paced service has
the potential to reach 1Gbps peak rates with 8x8 MIMO and will use both the FDD and TDD spectrum.
This is the first time AT&T has provided
some type of timeframe for its LTE-Advanced plan, following news from October when Sprint Nextel confirmed its plans to deploy LTE-Advanced on its 800MHz spectrum by the first half of
biggest rival, Verizon Wireless, also has plans for an LTE-Advanced rollout. While the Big Red’s deployment of the high-speed
service lacks a steadfast date, the carrier announced back in September that we won’t see any wide scale consumption
for at least the next few years, though Verizon promised it was currently adopting the technology.
While AT&T talks about future plans,
the carrier recently launched its LTE service in Athens, Boston, Washington,D.C. and Baltimore. Additionally, the carrier
rolled out its first batch of LTE-enabled smartphones, the HTC Vivid and the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket. The company has said it plans to spread
its LTE network to cover 15 markets by year-end.
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