AT&T starts offering high-speed LTE-Advanced network; how can you access it?


Last year, we started seeing some of the first smartphones arrive with support for next-gen LTE-Advanced networks, like when Samsung introduced that special LTE-A version of the Galaxy S 4, running a Snapdragon 800, for use on such networks in South Korea. Since then we’ve heard about similar networks in a few other regions, but the US has been stuck with regular-old LTE. Today we start to hear about that changing, as AT&T switches-on some LTE-Advanced functionality in Chicago, with plans to bring it to more areas soon.

LTE-Advanced offers a lot of features, but the one we’re talking about today is carrier aggregation. That lets a provider like AT&T communicate with your phone using multiple chunks of the spectrum at once – in this case, AT&T’s LTE bands in the 700MHz and 2100MHz ranges. While this doesn’t increase overall bandwidth available, it does let AT&T hit higher speeds when its towers are talking to individual phones.

Right now, the only officially confirmed AT&T device to support this high-speed access is a hotspot, but comments Samsung made regarding the Galaxy S5 strongly imply that the phone will similarly be able to take advantage of AT&T’s carrier aggregation – at the least, Samsung has talked about general support for the feature, but not specifically naming AT&T’s as one network that would work.

Expect to hear a lot more about carrier aggregation and LTE-Advanced as more and more handsets arrive this year supporting the tech.

Source: GigaOM
Via: Android and Me

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!