Verizon, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies announced a field trial of license assisted access (LAA) that achieved 953 Mbps download speed on a commercial network deployment in Boca Raton, Florida. The companies claim this is the fastest announced speed achieved in a real-world, dynamic network environment.

LAA taps the unlicensed, 5 GHz Wi-Fi band to attain additional bandwidth to increase data rates. The 3GPP standard “plays nicely” with Wi-Fi, listening for Wi-Fi users before accessing the spectrum.

The Florida field trial used Verizon’s cellular network, including the cell site, hardware, software and backhaul. Ericsson provided a micro Radio 2205 remote radio head (RRH) designed for LAA. Qualcomm Technologies supplied a Snapdragon 835 mobile platform test device with integrated Snapdragon X16 LTE modem.

To achieve the data rate, the radio link used 4x4 MIMO, 256-QAM and four carrier aggregation (CA) — three LTE and one Wi-Fi.

953 Mbps is close to the holy grail of Gigabit LTE. According to Ericsson, Gigabit LTE can deliver a peak physical layer download speed of approximately 979 Mbps.