AT&T has received the go-ahead from the FCC to continue its tests of License Assisted Access (LAA) in two cities through the start of next year.
In its application for special temporary authority, AT&T said it is planning to continue its tests of LAA technology in up to six locations in San Francisco and two in Indianapolis from August to February 2018. The tests will utilize prototype LAA equipment from Ericsson (which has yet to receive FCC certification) running on the 5150-5250 MHz and 5725-5850 MHz bands. AT&T also indicated it’s planning to use Time Division Duplex modulation across 60 MHz of spectrum.
According to the carrier, “the experimentation will allow AT&T to evaluate performance and determine customer acceptability during the development, design, and pre-production phases of the equipment and will facilitate the eventual widespread deployment of LAA.” But AT&T stressed the experiments would not amount to a marketing trial.
“None of the equipment is to be made available to members of the public, sold or leased or advertised for sale or lease,” AT&T wrote. “No service is to be offered under this experimental authority.”
The continuation of AT&T’s LAA work comes as the carrier pushes toward deployment of the technology on its network by the end of this year. The carrier last month announced the results of field trials in California that initially yielded speeds of more than 650 Mbps and ultimately topped 750 Mbps when paired with four carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO, and 256-QAM.
But AT&T is up against some stiff competition in the form of T-Mobile.
The Un-carrier is also racing to deploy LAA, having already lit up LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) technology in six cities. Like AT&T, T-Mobile hit speeds above 740 Mbps by pairing LAA technology with 80 MHz of aggregated spectrum. CTO Neville Ray said the goal is that every small cell deployed in 2017 will leverage unlicensed spectrum on the 5 GHz band.
Filed Under: Telecommunications (Spectrum)