Not one to be left behind as Tier-1 carriers move ahead with LTE-Advanced technologies, C Spire on Wednesday announced it is boosting speeds for customers in 40 cities via the deployment of carrier aggregation on 2.5 GHz spectrum.
C Spire indicated it has been rolling out network enhancements – including new hardware and carrier aggregation – since March. The carrier said it has already added 700 MHz and 850 MHz airwaves throughout most of its network, and is now bringing 2.5 GHz spectrum into the mix for carrier aggregation. C Spire reported the upgrades will boost typical customer download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps up to as much as 100 Mbps.
“This technology allows us to surgically target network improvements in places where we need more reliability, capacity, and the right speeds,” Alan Jones, C Spire’s senior vice president of Network Engineering and Development, commented. “Maximum Range LTE was just the beginning. It’s important to make sure our network has the capacity and peak speeds that our customers want and need. That’s what these latest enhancements do for our customers.”
C Spire said it started deployments earlier this year in seven Mississippi cities and now has plans to roll out the technology in more than 40 cities across the state by October. Areas most expected to reap the benefits of the upgrades are the Mississippi Delta, northeast Mississippi, central parts of the state, south Mississippi, and portions of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The carrier said customers using one of the 13 LTE capable smartphones in its current lineup – including the Samsung Galaxy S6, S7, and S8, Apple iPhones, and latest LG and Motorola models – will be the first to see the capacity and speed boosts.
Deployments of carrier aggregation technology have become the standard for the nation’s four major wireless carriers.
T-Mobile has said it began working on carrier aggregation back in 2014, and Verizon in August of last year announced the nationwide launch of two- and three-carrier aggregation. Sprint has also launched two-carrier aggregation and at last word was lighting up three-carrier aggregation on more devices. AT&T earlier this year told Wireless Week it’s working its way to deployment of four carrier aggregation in the early second part of the year.
But Sprint – which is also using 2.5 GHz spectrum for carrier aggregation – has argued that not all carrier aggregation is made equal. At CTIA’s 2016 Super Mobility, Sprint COO Guenther Ottendorfer explained there are two different types of carrier aggregation: intra-band, which uses chunks of spectrum in the same band, and inter-band, which cobbles together chunks of spectrum from different frequencies. More on why Sprint believes inter-band is superior to intra-band carrier ag can be found here.