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T-Mobile Tees Up LTE-U for Spring Deployment

BELLEVUE, WASH.—Shortly after the Federal Communications Commission approved the first use of unlicensed LTE in the 5 GHz band, T-Mobile announced it would launch LTE-U over its network by this spring. On Tuesday, the FCC approved of the first use of unlicensed LTE in the 5 GHz band with equipment modification grants for Ericsson and Nokia, both equipment partners of the carrier.

Referring to itself as the “un-carrier,” T-Mobile said it is “now deploying LTE-U technology in its LTE network, following today’s FCC certification of equipment from strategic partners Ericsson and Nokia. This move paves the way for the Un-carrier to introduce new network capabilities and devices for consumers this spring.”

T-Mobile, the third largest cell-service provider in the United States behind Verizon and AT&T, said it started field trials of LTE-U last December. LTE-U devices are said to be able to share spectrum with Wi-Fi without disruption to that service.

“LTE-U devices and equipment intelligently tap into and share underutilized unlicensed spectrum without affecting other users on the same band, including those using conventional Wi-Fi. LTE-U constantly seeks the least utilized channels to maximize efficiency and performance for everyone. As demand on the Wi-Fi network increases, LTE-U backs off, and as Wi-Fi demand wanes, customers can tap into that unused capacity for LTE,” T-Mobile said.

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