T-Mobile today announced some major network news.
T-Mobile plans to launch LTE-U (LTE for unlicensed) this spring. The network equipment and devices will utilize the first 20 MHz of spectrum on the 5GHz band and give T-Mo additional LTE capacity, helping it to boost speeds. LTE-U will also aid in T-Mobile’s upcoming Gigabit LTE efforts, the carrier says.
As for how LTE-U works, here’s T-Mobile’s explanation:
“LTE-U devices and equipment intelligently tap into and share underutilized unlicensed spectrum without affecting other users on the same band, including those using conventional Wi-Fi. LTE-U constantly seeks the least utilized channels to maximize efficiency and performance for everyone. As demand on the Wi-Fi network increases, LTE-U backs off, and as Wi-Fi demand wanes, customers can tap into that unused capacity for LTE.”
More LTE capacity is always a good thing, as it enables you to get faster speeds while you’re out and about. Just keep in mind that you’re going to need a device that supports LTE-U in order to take advantage of its benefits. T-Mobile hasn’t said which devices it plans to offer with LTE-U support.