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Thread: LTE Advanced Rollout

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    LTE Advanced Rollout

    AT&T originally had plans to launch LTE Advanced and Voice over LTE in 2013, which hasn't happened. Now they're expecting a launch sometime this year. It seems the only device (so far) that would be able to access the network is the Asus PadFone X.

    When do you think we'll be seeing LTE Advanced from AT&T and the other carriers? And the phones to support the network? AT&T and Verizon have stated that they're mostly finished rolling out LTE, so it can't be too long.

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    If you mean Carrier Aggregation when you say LTE-Advanced, then there already are some phones that support this LTE-A feature.
    Note 3, LG G2, and pretty much any Snapdragon 800 based headset supports Carrier Aggregation. A lot more handsets will start popping out this year. These phones also fully support VoLTE.
    Verizon Wireless 20Mhz FDD LTE

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    Quote Originally Posted by milan03 View Post
    If you mean Carrier Aggregation when you say LTE-Advanced, then there already are some phones that support this LTE-A feature.
    Note 3, LG G2, and pretty much any Snapdragon 800 based headset supports Carrier Aggregation. A lot more handsets will start popping out this year.
    Isn't it officially called LTE Advanced? Or are there different types? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LTE_Advanced

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    Quote Originally Posted by dnywlsh View Post
    Isn't it officially called LTE Advanced? Or are there different types? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LTE_Advanced
    LTE-Advanced is a set of tools that have been created to enhance the existing LTE. Carrier Aggregation is just one of them, and actually VoLTE is not even a specific LTE-A feature. It's been available since Release 8, just never properly deployed until last year.

    There are other important LTE-A techniques like CoMP, HetNet, eICIC, Relay, etc that will also play a big role in the coming years

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    Quote Originally Posted by milan03 View Post
    LTE-Advanced is a set of tools that have been created to enhance the existing LTE. Carrier Aggregation is just one of them, and actually VoLTE is not even a specific LTE-A feature. It's been available since Release 8, just never properly deployed until last year.

    There are other important LTE-A techniques like CoMP, HetNet, eICIC, Relay, etc that will also play a big role in the coming years
    Ah, okay. Well I meant what the media and carriers are referring to when they say "LTE Advanced" launching this year, I guess the main part is carrier aggregation. Faster speeds are generally what most people care about haha.

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    Carrier aggregation is just a small part of lte A. There are so many important new protocols and features to make the user experience so much better.

    Carrier aggregation is more about load balancing then speed.

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    Last edited by bsocko; 01-23-2014 at 07:21 AM.

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    So it looks like here's what you've got:
    LTE Release 8 -- a lot of existing LTE installs use this.

    LTE-Advanced Release 10 -- added carrier aggregation. Also, to help capacity the peak bits/hz is about double compared to Rel. 8 (so if everyone was right next to the site speeds would almost double.) I don't know if that's mandatory or if some devices will support carrier aggregation but not higher peak speeds at least at first. They also provide a new error correction technique that is supposed to boost fringe speeds considerably.

    LTE Advanced Rel 11 -- added CoMP (Cordinated... ??), this allows the same soft handoff capability CDMA and UMTS have had all along but LTE lacked. If you get a poor signal from 2 or 3 sites, they can coordinate to ensure good fringe data speeds instead of decreasing it. (CDMA chipsets typically support 4 or 5.) Currently the sites just interfere in overlapping areas, the site you are using gives you data and the other sites raise the noise level on your signal. Edit: I think this is *very* interesting. If deployed on it's own, it'd take some capacity away since 2 sites are sending the same data. But, they may be able to run (overlapping) fringe areas as a lot more than 2x the current speed, even 10% packet loss per site would result in 1% over all, versus having to run a low data rate to ensure 1% maximum loss. It'd then limit the lowest "fringe" data rates to areas that really do have just 1 site covering them.

    LTE-Advanced Release 12 -- I have no idea. But it seems like vendors are going straight from Rel 10 to Rel 12.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwertz View Post
    LTE-Advanced Release 10 -- added carrier aggregation. Also, to help capacity the peak bits/hz is about double compared to Rel. 8 (so if everyone was right next to the site speeds would almost double.) I don't know if that's mandatory or if some devices will support carrier aggregation but not higher peak speeds at least at first. They also provide a new error correction technique that is supposed to boost fringe speeds considerably.
    This is only true if you increase the amount of Tx antennas at the base station and Rx antennas on your UE, and using spatial multiplexing. There are no 4x4 MIMO UE, and even Korean LTE-A providers don't have that 4x4 MIMO capable network.
    But eventually, once the first 4x4 devices show up we'll see spectral efficiency doubling in comparison to the current 2x2 MIMO and Release 8.

    Simply aggregating two Rel 8 CC with the same 2x2 MIMO setup isn't going to double the spectral efficiency.

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    Can we please just get AT&T to finish their 3G roll-out before moving on to LTE-A? I know most will take this as carping, and I really don't care about that at all, but is it really too much to ask them to actually finish the first upgrade of technology beyond the move to digital way back then?

    One would think it would even make things easier for AT&T right now, as they have people working around the country doing upgrades from 2G/EDGE to 3G, and to "4G", and to LTE, never finishing any one thing until they now have a hodge-podge network in some places. I can drive the 7 miles from here to the next town and in that distance an AT&T phone will show "G", "E", "3G", and "H" at some point, switching from one to the other and back again multiple times. The only thing missing is "LTE", but there isn't any of that from AT&T within 100 miles of here, and that's a separate story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ggore View Post
    Can we please just get AT&T to finish their 3G roll-out before moving on to LTE-A? I know most will take this as carping, and I really don't care about that at all, but is it really too much to ask them to actually finish the first upgrade of technology beyond the move to digital way back then?

    One would think it would even make things easier for AT&T right now, as they have people working around the country doing upgrades from 2G/EDGE to 3G, and to "4G", and to LTE, never finishing any one thing until they now have a hodge-podge network in some places. I can drive the 7 miles from here to the next town and in that distance an AT&T phone will show "G", "E", "3G", and "H" at some point, switching from one to the other and back again multiple times. The only thing missing is "LTE", but there isn't any of that from AT&T within 100 miles of here, and that's a separate story.
    I'm sure they'll add 3G to all of their previously EDGE-only cell sites, but I don't see them building too many new towers. AT&T doesn't need to have LTE in every area because they don't feel the need to compete with Verizon in every area. It's the same reason Sprint and T-Mobile don't have good coverage outside major cities. They don't feel the need to compete with AT&T or T-Mobile in those areas. This sounds harsh but it's probably true: small towns in Oklahoma aren't AT&T's top priority.

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    A friend asked me this morning. "if att didn't finish their 3g what makes you think they will finish their lte and whatever comes next?" I said hopefully they will.
    Sent from my RM-915_nam_usa_228 via the HowardForums WP7 App

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    Quote Originally Posted by dnywlsh View Post
    This sounds harsh but it's probably true: small towns in Oklahoma aren't AT&T's top priority.
    I beg to disagree completely with that last statement. Did you know that EVERY town above 2000 population east of I-35 and I-44, i.e. the eastern half of Oklahoma, now has LTE, with the exception of 2 that will be added in the coming months? AT&T bragged about that in the OKC paper a while back. That doesn't sound like AT&T doesn't care about small towns. That LTE coverage also includes dozens of even smaller towns of as few as 100 people. Their problem is in the western half of the state, where there are cities of 10,000-20,000 people that don't have LTE yet. Now they need to get busy on that problem, and I'm sure they will someday. Cities above 2000 population marked in red in the map below in the areas still waiting on LTE. There are still some good-sized 2G/EDGE areas that should be upgraded before AT&T begins to worry much about LTE-A around here.

    Attachment 104814

    I'm sure they will begin rolling out LTE-A anyway, and there will still be places with 2G/EDGE around when they have "substantially completed" that roll-out and have moved on to 5G or whatever it will be called. It will never end.
    Last edited by ggore; 02-18-2014 at 10:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ggore View Post
    I beg to disagree completely with that last statement. Did you know that EVERY town above 2000 population east of I-35 and I-44, i.e. the eastern half of Oklahoma, now has LTE, with the exception of 2 that will be added in the coming months? AT&T bragged about that in the OKC paper a while back. That doesn't sound like AT&T doesn't care about small towns. That LTE coverage also includes dozens of even smaller towns of as few as 100 people. Their problem is in the western half of the state, where there are cities of 10,000-20,000 people that don't have LTE yet. Now they need to get busy on that problem, and I'm sure they will someday. Cities above 2000 population marked in red in the map below in the areas still waiting on LTE. There are still some good-sized 2G/EDGE areas that should be upgraded before AT&T begins to worry much about LTE-A around here.

    Attachment 104814

    I'm sure they will begin rolling out LTE-A anyway, and there will still be places with 2G/EDGE around when they have "substantially completed" that roll-out and have moved on to 5G or whatever it will be called. It will never end.
    I meant the western half of Oklahoma, including the panhandle. Some of those areas have no AT&T service at all, just roaming. My point was that if AT&T wanted to provide coverage there, they likely would have by now, unless there's spectrum or regulatory issues. They may not see it as a major market. Cell towers are expensive to build and maintain, and they won't do it if they don't think there's a market. For example, AT&T and T-Mobile both have poor coverage in rural Maine because those areas are well-served by Verizon and US Cellular. Most of the people who live in those areas have either Verizon or US Cellular, and AT&T probably doesn't find it cost effective or necessary to expand.

    As for LTE, they're still expanding, but AT&T isn't going to match Verizon's LTE coverage, and I don't think they feel the need to, since they have HSPA+ in most areas. Verizon needed LTE badly in some areas because their EVDO network was getting too slow and congested. Yes, AT&T and Verizon compete, but not everywhere. There will still always be areas where Verizon has better service and areas where AT&T gets better service. That's why people pick whichever has better coverage in the areas they live/travel to.

    Also, LTE-Advanced is probably still several years away, considering the carriers are still rolling out standard LTE. AT&T plans to upgrade all of their 2G towers to 3G by 2017, and shut down their 2G network, so I suspect we won't be seeing much EDGE after that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dnywlsh View Post
    I meant the western half of Oklahoma, including the panhandle. Some of those areas have no AT&T service at all, just roaming. My point was that if AT&T wanted to provide coverage there, they likely would have by now, unless there's spectrum or regulatory issues. They may not see it as a major market. Cell towers are expensive to build and maintain, and they won't do it if they don't think there's a market. For example, AT&T and T-Mobile both have poor coverage in rural Maine because those areas are well-served by Verizon and US Cellular. Most of the people who live in those areas have either Verizon or US Cellular, and AT&T probably doesn't find it cost effective or necessary to expand.

    As for LTE, they're still expanding, but AT&T isn't going to match Verizon's LTE coverage, and I don't think they feel the need to, since they have HSPA+ in most areas. Verizon needed LTE badly in some areas because their EVDO network was getting too slow and congested. Yes, AT&T and Verizon compete, but not everywhere. There will still always be areas where Verizon has better service and areas where AT&T gets better service. That's why people pick whichever has better coverage in the areas they live/travel to.

    Also, LTE-Advanced is probably still several years away, considering the carriers are still rolling out standard LTE. AT&T plans to upgrade all of their 2G towers to 3G by 2017, and shut down their 2G network, so I suspect we won't be seeing much EDGE after that.
    You did not specify western Oklahoma in your previous post, so forgive me if I took the term "small towns" to mean those over the entire state. And I don't consider a city of 20,000 people to be a small town anyway. Least not in this part of the world. Different standards apply in different parts of the country. AT&T is 100% native in that area except in the panhandle, although they do own spectrum there but have only built one site in the entire panhandle. It was built last summer at the far west end of the panhandle, puts out 3G, and it doesn't serve any city or town, though, only open range land 20 miles from any town or highway. It must have been cheap enough to build and maintain while producing no revenue, so that excuse does not apply. Maybe it's a "protection site", but should that be where it can provide service to people? So they can and do build sites when they want to in that area, I just feel they just need to situate them where people ARE instead of to serve the cows and antelope. Then they can worry about LTE-A.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ggore View Post
    You did not specify western Oklahoma in your previous post, so forgive me if I took the term "small towns" to mean those over the entire state. And I don't consider a city of 20,000 people to be a small town anyway. Least not in this part of the world. Different standards apply in different parts of the country. AT&T is 100% native in that area except in the panhandle, although they do own spectrum there but have only built one site in the entire panhandle. It was built last summer at the far west end of the panhandle, puts out 3G, and it doesn't serve any city or town, though, only open range land 20 miles from any town or highway. It must have been cheap enough to build and maintain while producing no revenue, so that excuse does not apply. Maybe it's a "protection site", but should that be where it can provide service to people? So they can and do build sites when they want to in that area, I just feel they just need to situate them where people ARE instead of to serve the cows and antelope. Then they can worry about LTE-A.
    I agree, that does sound like an odd place for a tower. Maybe it was a trial run before they start adding more towers in that area. I have a feeling they'll do all, or most, of their 3G expanding before starting the LTE-A rollout. (Which, if I had to take a guess, is at least 2-3 years away.) The older networks tend to get forgotten once the new ones are being rolled out. Verizon hasn't touched their 3G network since they started rolling out LTE. People with 3G phones have noticed it's degraded a lot within the past year.

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