AT&T’s Fuetsch: Don’t Discount LTE

At least two of the major carriers are making use of carrier aggregation to increase the speed of their LTE data services
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NEW YORK ��Even with 5G on the horizon, at least two of the major carriers are making use of carrier aggregation to increase the speed of their LTE data services.�

In 2014 AT&T started using carrier aggregation technology in Chicago and other markets to boost LTE capacity and speed on its network.�The carrier at the time cautioned that it would be a little while before many customers could take advantage of the upgraded network,� according to�an article by fierce wireless.

Sprint has also made use of carrier aggregation and recently announced it was able to obtain download speeds of almost 300 Mbps via three-channel carrier aggregation on the HTC 10 smartphone.

Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and the operator�s CTO, said that in order to raise wireless speeds above 1 Gbps, AT&T would need to turn to 5G technology. �He said AT&T�s recent 5G trial in Austin provided 14 Gbps speeds to one user. �We�re making sure 5G evolves,� he added. �This is still a couple of years out.�

AT&T�s work in software-defined networking�and network function virtualization�is helping to position the operator to upgrade to 5G. Already AT&T has said that it is on track to virtualize 30 percent of its network by the end of 2016, on its way to virtualizing fully 75 percent of its network in 2020, according to the same article.

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