Carriers Are a Mixed Bag on LTE-Advanced
The two smaller national U.S. carriers appear to be more publicly pushing LTE-Advanced-ready networks than their bigger rivals.
T-Mobile USA is likely to launch its first LTE networks in Las Vegas and Kansas City next week. The operator is deploying a 3GPP Release 10 LTE network, which is the basis of LTE-Advanced, but it doesn't have the hardware or device support to implement all the features. (See T-Mobile's LTE Advance: What's Happening.)
Sprint Nextel Inc. said at the start of its Network Vision 3G and 4G upgrades in late 2011 that it was planning to move to LTE-Advanced.
Iyad Tarazi, VP of network development & engineering, said Sprint was testing 4x4 antenna arrays in the lab in late 2011. He suggested that Sprint could deploy in 2013 and that the larger form factor of tablets will likely be an initial platform. (See Sprint Plans LTE-Advanced Launch in 2013.)
AT&T Inc., meanwhile, is expected to start deploying the new technology in the second half of 2013, according to analysts at Technology Business Research Inc. (TBR). (See AT&T Plans LTE-Advanced in 2H13.)
An AT&T spokesman said the carrier doesn't have updates now, but will "get back to you when we have more to talk about."
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile