Operator successfully trials LAA on live commercial network.
T-Mobile US on Monday launched LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) in select locations and successfully tested Licence Assisted Access (LAA) on its live network, paving the way for even faster mobile speeds.
The U.S. operator’s LTE-U service augments the capacity of its 4G network with 5-GHz spectrum commonly used to carry WiFi services.
So far, it has been rolled out in parts of Brooklyn; Las Vegas; Bellevue, Washington; Dearborn, Michigan; Richardson, Texas; and Simi Valley, California. More locations will be added later this year. Customers need a compatible smartphone in order to use it.
T-Mobile has been experimenting with LTE on unlicensed spectrum since 2015. It began deploying LTE-U in its LTE network this February, after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) certified LTE-U products developed by Ericsson and Nokia.
This week, T-Mobile revealed it has successfully tested LAA on its live network as well. LAA allows operators to aggregate more spectrum than LTE-U, enabling even faster throughput. T-Mobile plans to begin rolling out LAA-capable small cells later this year.
"This means that the fastest LTE network – that’s T-Mobile – will only get faster," said T-Mobile US chief technology officer Neville Ray. "I hope AT&T and Verizon like eating our dust."