Announced today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, U.S telecom carrier T-Mobile has partnered with network equipment giant Ericsson to build and deploy its next-generation gigabit-capable LTE network across the country by end of this year. T-Mobile further says that this will lay the groundwork for the upcoming 5G revolution.

The two networking behemoths are currently working on the implementation of key technology enhancements outlined in the 3GPP Release 13 and beyond. It will build upon their network evolution plan and optimization path to superior customer experience and the advent rise of 5G technologies.

Talking about the partnership, Neville Ray, CTO, T-Mobile, says,

T-Mobile’s LTE network is the most advanced in the US and we’ll continue to deploy the latest, global leading technologies that will create the foundation of a powerful 5G network built for mobility. We work closely with strategic partners like Ericsson to deliver the most advanced technologies that enhance our customers’ experience.

Till date, T-Mobile boasts that they’ve been successful in a nationwide rollout of 4G network over the last 18 months. This, it states, has been made possible using Ericsson’s space-saving Antenna-Integrated Radio (AIR) product. This enabled the rapid rollout of their 4×4 MIMO (multiple input multiple output) and 256 and 64 QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) technologies thus, doubling the data speeds.

With regards to the same, the telecom giant is extending its partnership with Ericsson. It now plans to employ carrier aggregation and combine its 4G spectrum into one single data pipe, thus, enabling Gigabit data speeds within this year. The company is also planning to employ the LTE-U (unlicensed) spectrum to bolster its 5G network.

Ulf Ewaldsson, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, Ericsson, adds,

Our work with T-Mobile has pushed us to find the highest-quality solutions for a growing and demanding subscriber base. For example, our pioneering HD Enhanced Voice service for LTE and Wi-Fi last year improved audio quality and reliability for voice and music within calls. The bar gets higher each time, and we continue to push our own teams to prepare T-Mobile for its journey to 5G.

Further, T-Mobile plans to provide this advanced network coverage through the use of small cells, providing coverage through the use of satellites. It will deploy as much as 6,000 small cells in addition to the current 1,000 to build their gigabit LTE network, especially in urban areas. This action plan is similar to the one worked out by Ericsson with Australian telecom carrier Telstra to launch a gigabit-capable 4G network in Sydney, Melbourne.

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