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Mobile massively expands Gigabit LTE coverage

10 November 2017

Qualcomm, in partnership with T-Mobile, showed folks what that improvement looks like during a recent event in San Jose in the form of gigabit LTE.

The event's focus was clearly on gigabit LTE, which Qualcomm says is achieved when you put together carrier aggregation, 4X4 MIMO, and 256 QAM technologies.

T-Mobile has been introducing LTE Advanced technologies in the market since past three years and was the first one to globally come up with 4X4 MIMO technology. Out of the 920 markets offering Gigabit LTE, 430 offer all three speed enhancement features.

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In addition, T-Mobile highlighted LAA (License Assisted Access), which taps into unlicensed spectrum on small cells to further densify the network for even more capacity and speed.

"This is what I'm talking about when I say T-Mobile has America's best unlimited network and the only one objective built for unlimited", claimed Neville Ray, chief technology officer, T-Mobile. "Gigabit Class LTE technology is part of the secret sauce behind our success-and why others are struggling under the weight of unlimited-and we're only continuing to advance with LAA on the horizon". Things kicked off a year ago when Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, the first commercially announced modem to support Gigabit class LTE speeds.

Gigabit Class LTE is viewed as a key milestone on the path to 5G.

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T-Mobile is not the only carrier getting into gigabit LTE. Keep in mind that these are demos, so speeds in the real-world might not be as jaw-dropping, but gigabit LTE is still expected to be significantly faster than T-Mobile's current LTE implementation. When combining network and device tech, you can get increased capacity, better spectral efficiency, reduced congestion, and faster speeds.

T-Mobile customers in the 430 gigabit markets (here's the full list) could experience similar download speeds, though network conditions will vary. The Un-carrier has more than doubled its LTE Advanced footprint since a year ago and is swiftly expanding the technology on a enormous scale.

It's also not 5G, which T-Mobile expects to start arriving in 2019.

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The biggest impact that Gigabit LTE will have is preparing networks and consumers for the inevitable jump to 5G.

Mobile massively expands Gigabit LTE coverage