T-Mobile has just announced it will be the first carrier in the United States to start rolling out LTE-U technology to its network starting this spring. The technology can extend the coverage and speed of LTE networks.
What is it?
The technology allows LTE bandwidth on part of the unlicensed 5GHz spectrum. LTE-U uses that spectrum without affecting normal Wi-Fi devices and constantly seeks the least utilized channels for maximum performance.
If Wi-Fi demand increases, LTE-U throttles down and if Wi-Fi usage and demand drop, customers can take advantage of that unused spectrum for LTE.
Could arrive in future iPhone, iPad hardware
Currently, no iPhone or iPad models support LTE-U. But now that T-Mobile has officially announced its plans to start rolling out the technology, we could see Apple add support for the spectrum in future hardware updates.
Verizon is also reportedly interested in adding the technology to its network as well.
Speaking of Verizon, the largest carrier in the United States recently announced that it will start testing the next-generation 5G network in 11 cities starting later this year. Some of the cities include Ann Arbor, Michigan, Atlanta, Bernardsville, New Jersey, Brockton, Massachusetts, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
The Federal Communications Commission started crafting 5G specifications last year. It expects the first 5G networks to go live in 2020.