T-Mobile and Qualcomm demo Gigabit Class LTE speeds
T-Mobile has spent massive amounts of money to improve its LTE network across the US and it shows the most with the carrier’s latest announcement. T-Mobile and Qualcomm both took the stage in San Jose, California to showcase the speed and power of the carrier’s Gigabit Class LTE.
T-Mobile has expanded its LTE-Advanced network with more than twice the coverage since last year, spanning 920+ markets. This new class of LTE will be supported on Qualcomm Snapdragon Gigabit LTE modems, particularly those found on the Snapdragon 835 CPU with the X16 modem.
This LTE-A network combines three technologies: carrier aggregation, 4X4 MIMO, and 256 QAM. Currently, we know of the Galaxy S8, S8+, Note8, S8 Active, Moto Z2 Force, and LG V30 will support T-Mobile’s LTE-A network. The iPhone X will not be able to take full advantage of T-Mobiles LTE-A network.
Additionally, T-Mobile will start launching License Assisted Access (LAA), which makes use of unlicensed spectrum. This type of thing would be best implemented in dense cities like New York or Chicago, as they use smaller cells. We can expect to see LAA pop up this year (or what’s left of it).
So what does this mean for the T-Mobile subscriber?
Well, not really too much. In fact, T-Mobile has already been working hard on its LTE-Advanced network since 2014. The event was to hype up investors and boast about how much it’s expanded its LTE network across the country. It is, indeed impressive, as T-Mobile has poured massive amounts of money into its network, with the most recent auction winning allowing T-Mobile to occupy Band 71 (600 MHz), which should ensure longer range of towers with stronger indoor signals.
So as for today’s event. There wasn’t necessarily anything new to announce. It was more to showcase and demo the network’s capabilities to the media. "Gigabit Class LTE" translates to about between 100 and 300 Mbps download speeds in real-life situations, as well as reduced tower congestion.