As 5G goes live, it's imperative that operators continue to invest in gigabit LTE to provide a surround that will ensure a level of continuity as users move in and out of 5G areas.
To that end both Verizon and AT&T, which is planning to bring mobile 5G to 12 markets by the end of the year, continue to deploy enhancements based on the LTE Advanced standard. Working with partners Qualcomm and Nokia, Verizon says it has used six-channel carrier aggregation to achieve speeds of 1.45 Gbps "in a live commercial environment."
Verizon's Bill Stone, vice president of technology planning and development, said eight years in, LTE still has room to run. "When we first launched our LTE network, we knew there would be a lot of room for innovation and to expand its capabilities…we continue to our advancement of our 4G LTE network knowing our LTE network leadership is foundational for our evolution into 5G."
Joe Glynn, Qualcomm vice president of business development, said, "As we lead the way to 5G and collaborate with industry leaders to make it a commercial reality, it's important we continue to innovate in LTE as it will be foundational in early 5G network deployments."