T-Mobile's main focus for 2018 was to be LTE-LAA, Mark McDiarmid, VP of network engineering told Monica Alleven at Fierce. In December, 2017, CTO Neville Ray promised they "will give customers even greater access to near gigabit speeds in 2018." They had just demonstrated speeds of 1.1 Gbps with Ericsson. (At end.) In February of 2018, T-Mobile proudly announced
Speeds of 1.3 Gbps were achieved by aggregating LTE carriers in licensed and unlicensed bands using five-component carrier aggregation, 256QAM, 4x4 MIMO and LAA on 14 antenna layers.
Even without LAA, five-component carrier aggregation, 256QAM, 4x4 MIMO is called "Gig LTE." Peak speeds can go up to 2 gigabits, but typical user seeds will be in hundreds. Update May 5: I'm sure people in Seattle are regretting their many comments about LTE, claiming results nearly the same as they expect from 5G NR in 600 MHz. Yet this Saturday, Tmo CTO Neville Ray tweeted about their LTE
@TMobile would significantly enhance our network with immediate customer benefits like speed, coverage & capacity as we build a nationwide 5G network that puts the US in a 5G leadership position. Incredible potential! Key info below.
The demonstration was performed in T-Mobile’s lab using Ericsson Radio System together with test gear from Cobham Wireless
T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) and Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) have achieved speeds of 1.1 Gbps using 12-layer Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology – the first in the world to hit speeds beyond the 1 Gbps threshold on unlicensed spectrum.
Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile, says: “T-Mobile has built the nation’s fastest LTE network by innovating and bringing new technologies to market for our customers. This LAA technology builds upon our deployments of 4x4 MIMO and 256 QAM and will give customers even greater access to near gigabit speeds in 2018.”
Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks at Ericsson, says: “Breaking the 1 Gbps-mark means that commercial gigabit speeds are not far from reality for many broadband users, with our LAA and MIMO technologies as key enablers. It is also an example of how innovatively we work with partners to push the boundaries of technology and achieve new milestones.”
The demo took place at T-Mobile's Bellevue, Washington lab using the Ericsson Radio System and test equipment from Cobham Wireless. The data speeds were achieved by combining several key LTE technologies including 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO, and LAA by aggregating two licensed carriers and three unlicensed carriers.
The use of these LTE technologies on unlicensed spectrum complements licensed spectrum and makes it possible for a larger number of operators to reach gigabit speeds in their networks.
LAA has been demonstrated previously on 10 layers, reaching download speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Extending to 12 layers enables speeds exceeding 1 Gbps.
The Ericsson Radio 2205 gives operators the opportunity to deploy LTE on the 5GHz unlicensed band in outdoor micro cell environments. Using LAA, the unlicensed carriers on these radios can be aggregated with licensed carriers on the micro cells or on nearby macro cells.