Following a recent Verizon Gigabit LTE field test, Verizon announced a new speed breakthrough in a lab trial. Working with Ericsson and Qualcomm again, Verizon says they reached 1.07 Gbps download speed in this latest lab test.
“These efficiencies will enable the delivery of the Gigabit class experience to more customers and lead to new wireless innovations,” Verizon announced in a press release.
The lab test used a Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 LTE Modem and Ericsson radios and LTE software. Unlike the recent Verizon Gigabit LTE market test, this lab test used all licensed FDD spectrum in three-carrier aggregation. The previous test achieved 953 Mbps download speed, using unlicensed LAA spectrum and four-carrier aggregation.
Like the previous test, this lab test also used 4×4 MIMO per carrier and 256 QAM per carrier. The three-carrier aggregation enabled a total of 12 simultaneous LTE streams. Verizon claims this is an industry first using commercial silicon and network infrastructure to hit over 1 Gbps on 4G LTE. These are of course peak speeds in tests, with real world performance on a live network delivering considerably less average download speeds, perhaps in the 100 Mbps to 200 Mbps range.
On the Path to 5G
Gigabit LTE proves that even with 5G evolution already underway, 4G LTE will be the underlying mobile broadband technology for the masses for many years to come. In many ways, Gigabit LTE will show end users what they can expect from 5G, creating some serious expectations for 5G to fill.
This latest release from Verizon also highlights a press release and marketing battle between national (and even international) carriers. All national carriers have committed to Gigabit LTE, and we can expect the press release battle to continue in the weeks and months ahead.
Back in January, T-Mobile announced peak speeds of 979 Mbps downlink using Gigabit LTE technology similar to what is described in today’s Verizon Gigabit LTE announcement. T-Mobile also announced in February that their use of LTE-U technology would bring Gigabit LTE-type performance to a growing list of T-Mobile markets.
AT&T and Sprint have similar announcements as well. Expect the war of words and press releases to continue as carriers aim to drive awareness of Gigabit LTE and what it means to the end user.