LTE Advanced in operation with more than 20 carriers

LTE Advanced in operation with more than 20 carriers
LTE Advanced, referred to as LTE-A, has been quietly taking the stage in select markets around the world. Right now, 21 networks have LTE-A in operation in some shape or form.

Last summer, SK Telecom in South Korea was the first to light up an LTE-A network whose performance was the original definition of the “fourth generation” wireless standard. However, the marketing machines of the wireless carriers would not be daunted, and the advent of plain-old-LTE forced the standards bodies to re-write the specifications.

In the United States, AT&T has LTE-A running in and around Chicago, Illinois, with other markets in the works. AT&T uses LTE-A in support of VoLTE which is now in service, albeit with very limited handset support at the moment.

Other carriers around the world are either testing in lab-type conditions or already operating live test networks, achieving some impressive data speeds in the process. Industry groups are projecting to see the current number of networks with LTE-A in operation to double by the end of this year.

2015 will obviously see accelerated growth as wireless providers phase in implementation through carrier aggregation (bonding two separate frequencies to increase capacity), MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-out) antenna arrays, and other solutions to ensure connectivity such as, coverage and Wi-Fi hand-off solutions.

You know what all that means right? 2015 will see hardware supporting the much faster LTE-A networks as commonplace. LTE-A has been achieving real-world speeds in excess of 150Mbps, and testing in excess of 450Mbps.

What is interesting is that LTE-A is still “4G.” The fifth generation has not yet been defined, but some are projecting first commercial deployments within the next 5 years, and then things are supposed to get really fast.

source: Light Reading



1. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

LTE-A was supposed to be the threshold for 4G, but thanks to whining and fit-throwing by AT&T and Verizon, they were able to get that threshold lowered to HSPA+.

5. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

ATT maybe, but VZW doesn't use HSPA+, rather the pathetic EVDO that nobody dares to call 4G.

2. rinque85

Posts: 20; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

We have faster speeds, so it translates to everyone will reach their data cap limit in about 5 minutes? Oh how the world of unlimited data is and will be continued to be missed.

3. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1849; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

I have unlimited data on tmobile so I welcome the faster networks!

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

As do I, but my friend just started working for AT&T and wants me to join in on his employee plan. How can I say no to that?

6. FerneyZan

Posts: 114; Member since: Jul 21, 2010

You just don't.. I would go for it in a heart beat. hehe

7. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

if you want better signal in buildings and lte /3G outside the city then i think you should join your friend on att.

8. FerneyZan

Posts: 114; Member since: Jul 21, 2010

Totally agree on this.. Not only ATT's network is extremely solid overall, but even if you aren't connected to a 4GLTE signal, you are still going to be riding an a very fast 3G network.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.