T-Mobile USA has announced that it will begin offering LTE-Advanced network features this year. The statement comes from Dave Mayo, T-Mobile’s senior vice president of technology, strategy, finance and development, during the Backhaul Strategies for Mobile Operators event in New York City this week. Mayo, however, did not specify which these features are, or when they will be available.
LTE-Advanced is commonly described as a set of features instead of a general network technology. Thus, the wireless carrier may introduce any of such set of features.
Among the possibilities that T-Mobile may offer are carrier aggregation, Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) smart antenna technology, enhanced inter-cell interference coordination, and self-optimizing capabilities. Such features generally promise much faster and more stable connections. It is believed to provide twice the speed of today’s LTE technology. According to theoretical estimates, LTE-Advanced will allow users to have a download speed of up to 3Gbps and an upload speed of as fast as 1.5Gbps.
Presently, the wireless carrier’s network has Release 10 specifications, a requirement for offering LTE-Advanced features.
In the meantime, T-Mobile is introducing enhancements to 37,000 cell sites, as well as working to provide a stronger signal for its subscribers by adding 3Db more gain. At present, T-Mobile’s LTE coverage is still limited to several markets. By the end of 2013, however, T-Mobile aims to have LTE network coverage for 200 million people.
It is worth noting that at present, there is only one LTE-Advanced compatible device, which is the LTE-Advanced version of the Samsung Galaxy S4. It is currently available only in Korea, where wireless carrier SK Telecom will be offering carrier aggregation soon. Carrier aggregation, also known as channel aggregation, is a feature that harnesses the power of more than one radio or channel. In other words, users will be able to download from several connections simultaneously, instead of just one. Eventually, SK Telecom will use enhanced inter-cell interference coordination as well as coordinated multipoint (CoMP) technology.
Read more about LTE-Advanced here.