OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), August 31, 2016 – Today Sprint and Nokia kicked-off the launch of three-channel carrier aggregation in Kansas City’s LTE Plus Network with a live demonstration at Kauffman Stadium. Just prior to the Royals vs Yankees match-up, the companies showcased three-channel carrier aggregation reaching peak speeds as high as 230 Mbps inside the stadium using the Samsung Note7, Galaxy S7, S7 edge, HTC 10 and LG G5.
Carrier aggregation is an LTE-Advanced feature that bonds together bands of spectrum to create wider channels, produce greater capacity and deliver faster speeds on capable devices. Essentially it creates a wider lane that allows more data traffic to travel at higher rates.
Sprint began its roll-out of two-channel aggregation in 2015. Today Sprint uses two-channel carrier aggregation to deliver peak speeds of more than 100 Mbps in 237 LTE Plus markets across the country using 40 MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum on the company’s LTE Plus cell sites. With three-channel carrier aggregation Sprint will utilize 60 MHz of spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band to provide peak download speeds of more than 200 Mbps on compatible devices. Sprint holds more than 160 MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum in the top 100 U.S. markets. Sprint also uses 800 MHz and 1.9 GHz spectrum to provide strong coverage and reliability across its LTE Plus network.
Sprint has begun its three-channel carrier aggregation deployment in Kansas City with more than 100 cell sites slated to be on air in the metro area by the end of September. Today’s announcement follows a live demonstration by Sprint earlier this week at Soldier Field in Chicago where Sprint has more than 500 cell sites deployed across the city.
At Kauffman Stadium Sprint utilized its 2.5 GHz spectrum to deliver download speeds as high as 230 Mbps. It also showcased live streaming of ultra-high definition 4K video and the blazing fast, high-bandwidth capability of Sprint’s LTE Plus Network. Participants were also able to experience a low-latency, high-speed, virtual reality system.
“Kansas City is our hometown and it’s also one of the most tech savvy cities in the country, so it’s fitting that it would be one of our first markets to receive this advanced capability,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO. “4K streaming and powerful virtual reality systems are on the rise and we’re excited to take our LTE Plus network to the next level increasing our speed and capacity 50% more with three-channel carrier aggregation.”
Behind the scenes, today’s demonstration utilized the Nokia Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station for LTE TDD, including TD-LTE-Advanced 8-pipe radio (8T8R) that can deliver all three carriers from a single unit on 8T8R configuration for better performance and coverage. Sprint is the only carrier in the U.S. using 8T8R radios which improve LTE Plus coverage and signal strength. More antennas deliver a stronger, narrower beam that transmit more energy to the cell edge giving customers better coverage, reliability, and faster data speeds.
“Nokia has been an innovation force in carrier aggregation, starting with our first carrier aggregation demonstration in 2013, industry first six carrier aggregation demonstration with Sprint in 2014, and today with the U.S.’s first LTE TDD three carrier aggregation in a commercial network,” said Ricky Corker, executive vice president and head of North America for Nokia. “Our carrier aggregation feature not only increases the end user throughput significantly, but also balances Sprint’s network load on three carriers for an efficient use of spectrum. Most importantly, it offers a great experience at home, office or at Kauffman Stadium.”
Sprint offers 23 devices that actively support carrier aggregation on its super-fast LTE Plus Network. Three-channel carrier aggregation is slated for enablement on devices via an automatic software update following network deployment.
A Reliable, Capacity-Rich Network
Sprint LTE coverage reaches approximately 300 million people – more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. And Sprint’s highly reliable network is better than ever. In fact, Sprint’s analysis of drive test data from Nielsen – covering the top 106 metropolitan markets in the U.S. – shows that Sprint’s reliability now beats T-Mobile’s and performs within 1% of AT&T and Verizon.
With Sprint’s deep spectrum holdings and a reliable, capacity-rich network that’s built for data, Sprint is proud to now offer Unlimited Freedom with unlimited talk, text, and mobile optimized streaming videos, gaming and music. And for customers that prefer a higher resolution video streaming experience, Sprint offers Unlimited Freedom Premium.