Sprint this week announced it has started deployments of its three-channel carrier aggregation technology, with initial launches in Chicago, Ill., and Kansas City, Mo.
Sprint announced the deployments with live demonstrations at major sport stadiums in each city, reaching peak download speeds of more than 230 mbps at Soldier Field in Chicago and Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Sprint said the tests utilized the carrier’s three-channel carrier aggregation-capable devices, including the Samsung Note 7, Galaxy S7, S7 edge, HTC 10, and LG G5.
In Chicago, Sprint said its demonstration used a software upgrade installed on Sprint’s LTE network to deliver three-channel carrier aggregation. In Kansas City, Sprint said its demonstration relied on Nokia’s Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station for LTE TDD, including a TD-LTE-Advanced 8-pipe radio (8T8R) that can deliver all three carriers from a single unit with an 8T8R configuration.
Sprint said it has already deployed more than 500 cell sites in Chicago that are three-channel carrier aggregation enabled and is planning to have more than 100 cell sites of the same variety up and running in Kansas City by the end of September.
The roll out of three-channel carrier aggregation marks an upgrade from Sprint’s existing two-channel carrier aggregation technology. Launched in 2015, Sprint’s two-channel carrier aggregation is currently available in 237 LTE Plus markets across the country and offers speeds of more than 100 mbps.
Sprint currently offers 23 carrier aggregation-capable devices and said three three-channel carrier aggregation capabilities will be enabled on those devices through an automatic software update once the network is fully deployed.
Sprint’s announcements come on the heels of Verizon’s launch of two- and three-channel carrier aggregation in 461 cities across the country on Monday.
Verizon said its new LTE Advanced network offers peak download speeds of 225 mbps with two-channel carrier aggregation and more than 300 mbps with three-channel carrier aggregation.