AT&T, first carrier, to launch LTE-A in the US

AutoUnion39

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http://gigaom.com/2014/03/06/atts-new-souped-up-lte-network-is-live-in-chicago-but-youll-have-to-wait-to-use-it/

AT&T’s LTE network in the Windy City recently got a lot more powerful. Ma Bell is the first carrier in the U.S. to use a new LTE-Advanced technique called carrier aggregation to bond together two 4G networks, the end result being a big boost in speed to the device.
With the upcoming GS5 getting carrier aggregation support, I wonder if the next iPhone will also have it?
 

maflynn

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I wonder if the next iPhone will also have it?
If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say its doubtful. Apple isn't about to embrace a non standard format that is tied to a single carrier. If other carriers in the US and/or world wide start using it maybe but for now I don't see happening.

If memory serves me, the iPhone has a single chipset for the LTE communication regardless of the carrier. I don't think they'll want to add any further complexities just for one carrier

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Another point towards why Apple won't be doing this (at least for now) is that its not really available in too many cities. Apple waited until LTE was more established before going with it. I doubt they'll be so quick to jump on this since its not really fully adopted
 

yeah

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Jul 12, 2011
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That's awesome, especially since AT&T doesn't have contiguous spectrum.

:D
 

wordoflife

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Will be interested to see the net result. Already getting some pretty decent speeds.

 

orangebluedevil

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Jun 28, 2010
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If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say its doubtful. Apple isn't about to embrace a non standard format that is tied to a single carrier. If other carriers in the US and/or world wide start using it maybe but for now I don't see happening.
Where do you read that LTE-A is non standard? As I understand it is entirely standard and extremely important to carriers. It allows them to use all their spectrum, regardless of band location. Verizon is just about the only carrier that has neighboring LTE bands. I count about 10 carriers that are already testing LTE-A in the real world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LTE_Advanced
 

easy-peasy

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Jan 31, 2014
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I'd be much more impressed with additional coverage rather than increases in speed that don't make a bit of difference for most users :rolleyes:

Once you get 10mbps on a LTE network a speed boost to even 100mbps wont effect a smartphone users netflix or web browsing experience one bit as 10mbps is more than enough for a smartphone.

Stuff like this is simply for bragging rights to try and impress potential customers with things that don't make any real difference in real world usage (ZOMG 100MBPS!!!1!1!).
 

parseckadet

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If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say its doubtful. Apple isn't about to embrace a non standard format that is tied to a single carrier. If other carriers in the US and/or world wide start using it maybe but for now I don't see happening.

If memory serves me, the iPhone has a single chipset for the LTE communication regardless of the carrier. I don't think they'll want to add any further complexities just for one carrier


This isn't some crazy thing only AT&T is going to do. Carrier aggregation is part of the LTE-Advanced standard. AT&T just happens to be the first, but T-Mobile has hinted that they'll be doing carrier aggregation soon as well.

Another point towards why Apple won't be doing this (at least for now) is that its not really available in too many cities. Apple waited until LTE was more established before going with it. I doubt they'll be so quick to jump on this since its not really fully adopted
Again, everything has to start somewhere. It's one city for now, but it will expand quickly. This isn't something that requires support for new bands or anything, just changes in how the phone uses the bands that it already supports. This won't take nearly as long as rolling out LTE has, and it wouldn't surprise me if AT&T and T-Mobile completed their deployments of this by the end of the year. If Apple waits until Fall 2015 to support this, or other aspects of LTE-Advanced, they will be at a SERIOUS disadvantage.
 

mnsportsgeek

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Feb 24, 2009
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I'd be much more impressed with additional coverage rather than increases in speed that don't make a bit of difference for most users :rolleyes:

Once you get 10mbps on a LTE network a speed boost to even 100mbps wont effect a smartphone users netflix or web browsing experience one bit as 10mbps is more than enough for a smartphone.

Stuff like this is simply for bragging rights to try and impress potential customers with things that don't make any real difference in real world usage (ZOMG 100MBPS!!!1!1!).
100 mbps would be good for downloading a movie, but alas, we don't have unlimited data.

The faster it downloads the less battery it uses would be the reasoning for faster speeds in my opinion. I for one hope that we get unlimited LTE back and different speed tiers like cable/dsl does now.
 

alent1234

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Jun 19, 2009
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This isn't some crazy thing only AT&T is going to do. Carrier aggregation is part of the LTE-Advanced standard. AT&T just happens to be the first, but T-Mobile has hinted that they'll be doing carrier aggregation soon as well.



Again, everything has to start somewhere. It's one city for now, but it will expand quickly. This isn't something that requires support for new bands or anything, just changes in how the phone uses the bands that it already supports. This won't take nearly as long as rolling out LTE has, and it wouldn't surprise me if AT&T and T-Mobile completed their deployments of this by the end of the year. If Apple waits until Fall 2015 to support this, or other aspects of LTE-Advanced, they will be at a SERIOUS disadvantage.

how?
most of the content like my sports news is already on virtual servers that are way slower than my wireless speed
 

parseckadet

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how?
most of the content like my sports news is already on virtual servers that are way slower than my wireless speed
You might have good speeds in your market, but that's not the case in every market. Or your speeds may degrade over time as more people get LTE devices. In some cities the only way AT&T and T-Mobile can obtain enough spectrum to offer better speeds, or to keep up with expected growth, is by combining non-contiguous frequencies. Further, carriers are pushing to enable Voice over LTE (VoLTE). The sooner they do this the sooner they can reclaim the spectrum currently being used for GSM/CDMA, while also improving voice service quality. LTE-A offers solutions to both of these problems, and if the iPhone 6 doesn't offer it, then Apple will be the caboose by the time they bring out the 6s in 2015.

The reasons Apple held back on 3G and LTE in the past were due mostly to power consumption. But remember that we're not talking about new cellular hardware here, just using that hardware in a different way. I'm thinking that means that power consumption isn't nearly the concern for LTE-A as it was for LTE, but I'm also not an expert.
 

Wide opeN

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LTE-A offers solutions to both of these problems, and if the iPhone 6 doesn't offer it, then Apple will be the caboose by the time they bring out the 6s in 2015.

The reasons Apple held back on 3G and LTE in the past were due mostly to power consumption. But remember that we're not talking about new cellular hardware here, just using that hardware in a different way. I'm thinking that means that power consumption isn't nearly the concern for LTE-A as it was for LTE, but I'm also not an expert.
I'd be shocked, if the 6 had it!!!
 

alent1234

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Jun 19, 2009
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You might have good speeds in your market, but that's not the case in every market. Or your speeds may degrade over time as more people get LTE devices. In some cities the only way AT&T and T-Mobile can obtain enough spectrum to offer better speeds, or to keep up with expected growth, is by combining non-contiguous frequencies. Further, carriers are pushing to enable Voice over LTE (VoLTE). The sooner they do this the sooner they can reclaim the spectrum currently being used for GSM/CDMA, while also improving voice service quality. LTE-A offers solutions to both of these problems, and if the iPhone 6 doesn't offer it, then Apple will be the caboose by the time they bring out the 6s in 2015.

The reasons Apple held back on 3G and LTE in the past were due mostly to power consumption. But remember that we're not talking about new cellular hardware here, just using that hardware in a different way. I'm thinking that means that power consumption isn't nearly the concern for LTE-A as it was for LTE, but I'm also not an expert.
i can do a speedtest at 10 or 20 mbps, but my Team Stream app will take 30 seconds to refresh because a lot of content is running in the cloud. aka it's on amazon AWS servers that are oversubscribed or amazon's network is bogged down for some reason

same thing with twitter where it takes 30 seconds to download a few MB of data while the speedtest is saying faster

the real speeds of most applications are slower than the max speed of the network due to the way the cloud is designed. increasing the pipe to 100mbps is useless for facebook and most other apps
 

maflynn

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Where do you read that LTE-A is non standard? As I understand it is entirely standard and extremely important to carriers. It allows them to use all their spectrum, regardless of band location. Verizon is just about the only carrier that has neighboring LTE bands. I count about 10 carriers that are already testing LTE-A in the real world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LTE_Advanced
Fair enough, but even though its a standard, its not one that is widely embraced so much so, I don't think Apple will add it to their iPhone.
 

parseckadet

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Fair enough, but even though its a standard, its not one that is widely embraced so much so, I don't think Apple will add it to their iPhone.
As I said, Apple didn't leave 3G out of the original iPhone, or LTE out of the 4S, simply because they didn't feel like it. They had very specific reasons; namely, power consumption. As far as I'm aware there are no power consumption concerns with LTE-A. So if you're so convinced that Apple is going to leave it out, do you have any specific reasons why you believe so? Keep in mind that just because the carriers haven't deployed it widely YET, that doesn't mean they won't do so soon (possibly before the release of the 6) and are very eager for Apple and other manufacturers to support it.

As for the argument that services aren't fast enough to fully utilize the speed, really? That's like Bill Gates saying computers will never need more than 640KB of memory. Carriers need to plan now for the day when their LTE networks are utilized by 90% of their customers. If they wait until it happens it's too late.
 

CEmajr

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With data caps, what's really the point at this stage? You can now reach said cap faster than before?

VoLTE as well as expanding the overall LTE coverage footprint seem to be the things AT&T should be focusing on primarily. It's something their customers will actually benefit from.

This will help with Speedtest and Rootmetrics bragging rights though.
 

barkomatic

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I'm reviving this thread with the development that Verizon now has "XLTE" in several markets. In some cases, speeds are a dramatic improvement.

I assume that AT&T and probably T-mobile will fast track LTE-A to being a common standard to compete. In lower Manhattan, my LTE speeds on AT&T often drop to 3G speeds or less, which just isn't acceptable today. Since the iPhone 5s supports XLTA on Verizon *today* its hard for me to imagine that the iPhone 6 won't support LTE-A. While I don't need 80mbps on my iPhone I do need at least 10mbps in order for it to really count as an LTE device.

Then again, Apple may leave it out if they can save a dime on production costs and claim that its not "standard". Or, they'll perform another "invisible" update whereupon new versions of the iPhone 6 will support it mid-cycle.

Anyway, just my opinion. :D
 

Diseal3

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Jun 29, 2008
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I'm reviving this thread with the development that Verizon now has "XLTE" in several markets. In some cases, speeds are a dramatic improvement.

I assume that AT&T and probably T-mobile will fast track LTE-A to being a common standard to compete. In lower Manhattan, my LTE speeds on AT&T often drop to 3G speeds or less, which just isn't acceptable today. Since the iPhone 5s supports XLTA on Verizon *today* its hard for me to imagine that the iPhone 6 won't support LTE-A. While I don't need 80mbps on my iPhone I do need at least 10mbps in order for it to really count as an LTE device.

Then again, Apple may leave it out if they can save a dime on production costs and claim that its not "standard". Or, they'll perform another "invisible" update whereupon new versions of the iPhone 6 will support it mid-cycle.

Anyway, just my opinion. :D
XLTE is just Verizon marketing for places they can throw out LTE over AWS 20x20. Phones that can support this band are named XLTE equip. Really nothing special.

LTE-A if i'm correct is just software, however its still an adjustment that has to be made.
 

barkomatic

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Aug 8, 2008
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XLTE is just Verizon marketing for places they can throw out LTE over AWS 20x20. Phones that can support this band are named XLTE equip. Really nothing special.

LTE-A if i'm correct is just software, however its still an adjustment that has to be made.
I was under the impression that LTE-A is a hardware upgrade -- but if you are correct then that's great.