British cellco Vodafone UK has announced that it has begun the deployment of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), with the cities of Birmingham, Manchester and London set to be the first to benefit from the increased downlink speeds offered by the technology. With the operator saying it will roll out LTE-A in the three aforementioned locations this month, it is reportedly aiming to extend coverage to other cities ‘during the rest of this year and 2015’.
In announcing the development, Vodafone UK claimed that Carrier Aggregation is particularly well suited to its 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum holdings, highlighting the fact that the former frequencies are better for wider coverage and penetrating through wall, while its 2.6GHz spectrum is ideally suited for smaller geographical areas of high population density. Commenting on the benefits of LTE-A, Vodafone UK’s technology director Fergal Kelly said: ‘This clever technology is the next big step to deliver faster speeds per user and to increase the capacity so more customers can enjoy a great 4G experience when and where they want it.’
With the LTE-A rollout said to be part of Vodafone UK’s plans to spend GBP1 billion (USD1.61 billion) on its network and services this year, with this technology deployment following on from the nationwide provision of high definition (HD) voice technology and the Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal programme, which is looks to extend 3G coverage to remote communities for the first time.