US mobile giant Sprint Corp has confirmed that its tri-band carrier aggregation (3C) LTE network – previously known as ‘Sprint Spark’ – has been rebranded ‘LTE Plus’ and extended to 77 major markets. In a post on the cellco’s official blog, Sprint CTO John Saw commented: ‘Carrier aggregation allows us to bond multiple spectrum channels together to build a fatter pipe with double the capacity and speed. Beamforming is a signal processing technique that directs signals from multiple antennas towards where our customers are. Our 2.5GHz LTE system with 8 Transmit 8 Receive (8T8R) radios is the sweet spot for enabling smart antenna beamforming. Simply stated, while our competitors are sending LTE data meant for a specific customer to everyone in a sector, we are able to transmit more directive beams to exactly where our customers are located’.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the tri-band network aggregates 800MHz FD-LTE spectrum (previously used by Sprint’s defunct iDEN network), 1900MHz ex-CDMA spectrum and 2500MHz TD-LTE frequencies, as previously utilised by WiMAX firm Clearwire. Dr Saw claims that the network is capable of delivering peak speeds in excess of 100Mbps on capable devices.