AT&T is deploying LTE Licensed Assisted Access (LTE-LAA) in areas of downtown Indianapolis, with plans to expand downtown coverage by the end of the year. AT&T customers with a Samsung Galaxy Note8 can access the technology.
LAA enables an LTE connection to tap into the unlicensed 5 GHz Wi-Fi spectrum to increase the data rate available to the user. The concept is similar to carrier aggregation but uses unlicensed spectrum rather than a licensed cellular band. LAA can help wireless networks reach theoretical peak speeds of 1 Gbps. In field tests, AT&T has achieved peak speeds of 979 Mbps.
Bill Soards, president of AT&T Indiana, said “We’re excited to be the first carrier to commercially deploy LTE-LAA technology for our customers in parts of Indianapolis.”
Michael Huber, president and CEO of the Indy Chamber, said, “Indy will be the very first in the country to reap the benefits of LTE-LAA, bringing us that much closer to 5G.”
In July 2013, AT&T launched LTE-Advanced technology in Indianapolis. Branded “5G Evolution,” AT&T is deploying base stations with 256-QAM, 4 x 4 MIMO and three-way carrier aggregation.
AT&T said the company has invested more than $350 million in Indianapolis wired and wireless networks during 2014-2016.