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.