Sprint said it plans to deploy LTE-Advanced technology after rolling out its LTE network next year, according to Fierce Wireless. Speaking at the 4G World conference in Chicago this week, Iyad Terazi, Sprint’s vice president of network development and engineering, said it would occur in the first half of 2013.
LTE-Advanced is a faster version of LTE, approved by the ITU as a true 4G standard. Also called IMT Advanced, it has peak data rates up to 1 Gbit/s (fixed) and 100 Mbps (mobile) using 20 MHz wide channels.
LTE-Advanced improves LTE data rates with enhanced MIMO and carrier aggregation. Sprint-Nextel plans to aggregate two 1.9 GHz carriers into what would be effectively one (20MHz x 2) channel after they move users off a PCS channel and onto Nextel’s new CDMA-based 850 MHz band. Nextel currently uses iDen for their dedicated push-to-talk voice-only service. A CDMA conversion in the 850 MHz band would allow Sprint to extend their 3G service – and eventually 4G service.
Sprint says it will have 250 million to 277 million POPs covered with LTE by the end of 2013. At that point, Tarazi said the company will have a bigger LTE footprint than its existing CDMA network.
It must be the magic of Sprint’s Network Vision. Clearwire has already announced plans to drop WiMAX in favor of LTE-Advanced. They will adopt the TD-LTE flavor, rather than (paired spectrum) that Sprint announced last month.
Relay cells are another benefit of LTE-Advanced. They don’t need another backhaul link, they can rebroadcast the signal of a 4G tower while using a segment of the spectrum for its own backhaul.
Sprint plans a commercial launch of LTE on their 1.9 GHz spectrum by mid-2012, but at the time announced no plans involving Clearwire and their 2.6 GHz spectrum past 2013.
“We’re pleased to announce that we have signed a nonbinding cooperation agreement with Clearwire, to work together on the technical specifications of the Clearwire LTE network and to ensure a superb customer experience for Sprint customers on the Clearwire LTE network,” Hesse said on a post-earnings report call with investors.
He said the deal covers the selection and timing of site nodes and involves working with manufacturers to design devices and certain chip sets for devices.
Related Dailywireless articles include; Sprint’s Network Vision Detailed, Clearwire Chooses LTE Advanced, Will Sprint Go TD-LTE?, WiMAX to TD-LTE: Everybody’s Doin’ It, Speculation on Sprint Infrastructure, LG Telecom: CDMA & LTE Handover, LTE Spectrum: It’s War, German 4G Auction: It’s Done, Auctions Winding Down in Germany & India, EU: Global LTE Roaming at 1.8 GHz, End Near for Indian WiMAX?, WiMAX & LTE: Policy Vs Pragmatism, Intel: LTE Not Nail in Coffin, India’s Broadband Auction: It’s Done, TD-LTE Gains Momentum, WiMAX Forum: Not Dead Yet, Yota Dumps WiMAX,