A First Look at AT&T’s LTE Network

And for me, the highlight of the lab was the fact that the Foundry is home to a trial Long Term Evolution network. So I asked for a demo and got one. The speeds provided on the download side were about 28.87 Mbps and were about 10.4 Mbps on the upload side. This compared to speeds of 3.77 on the download side and 1.21 Mbps on the upload for an iPhone that was capable of maxing out on AT&T’s 7.2 Mbps HSPA network. So it???s fast, but sharing those speeds with others on a cell tower will bring them down. For comparison, Verizon has promised customers speeds of 5-12 Mbps on the download side and speeds of up 5 Mbps on the upload side.

The network engineer who ran the test explained that AT&T was using MIMO antenna structure and two swaths of spectrum  the 700 MHz it purchased in auction and the AWS band of spectrum that it already owns (and wants to purchase by buying T-Mobile). When I asked about carrier aggregation, he said AT&T wasn’t using that for this demo. When I commented that this was the first LTE demo where folks didn’t try to max out the standard and show off 150 Mbps-download connections, he replied that this is because AT&T wanted to model real-world situations for the people coming into the Foundry space.

AT&T is definitely preparing for an LTE deployment on campus. Hopefully soon.

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About Matthew Peterworth

I currently work as a Technology Specialist at Henderson Engineers in Kansas City – a Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing (MEP) design firm. Prior to that I was a Project Manager for Information Technology Services (ITS), the central IT department at the University of Texas at Austin. As of July 2008 I am a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) through BICSI. And as of June 2011 I am a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the great state of Texas. Please follow me on Twitter @mpeterworth. https://twitter.com/mpeterworth

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