Verizon and T-Mobile LTE-U deployment begins this spring

The FCC has officially fired the starting gun for networks to deploy LTE-Unlicensed spectrum on their networks. It has certified devices for use in the unregulated parts of the 5GHz band that Wi-Fi hasn’t tapped into — the hope is not to see bandwidth shrivel from excessive LTE-U and Wi-Fi demand.

While deployment of LTE-U is expected to take place across campuses, stadiums and street lamps, US carriers are also interested in getting some space for themselves. TechCrunch reports that all will be using newly-approved base stations from Ericsson and Nokia that were already commercially available for general LTE purposes.

Both Verizon and T-Mobile are committing themselves to expanding their networks with LTE-U through the spring. In specificity, the Un-carrier plans on claiming a 20MHz block of its own.

If you have a Qualcomm-powered device with the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem or better (on Snapdragon 820 chips or above), you’ll have hardware-level support for LTE-U. It would be up to carriers to send proper software updates to activate that functionality.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.