America’s top carriers are still competing to build the biggest and fastest 4G LTE networks, but it looks like AT&T is already laying the groundwork for an even more powerful network. The carrier quietly launched its first LTE-Advanced networks in several markets including Chicago, though for now the only way to access the signal for now is with AT&T’s Unite mobile hotspot, Gigaom reports.
Until today, the only region we knew of where people were using LTE-A was South Korea, but now AT&T is bringing the super-fast network to the United States. The service works using something called carrier aggregation, essentially bundling two 4G transmissions together to create an even more powerful signal for download speeds of around 110 Mbps. AT&T won’t reveal where LTE-A is headed next, but told Gigaom that the upgrades would rollout in major cities as it lays down its second LTE network, which is currently set to launch in Baltimore, Dallas, New York City, Philadelphia, D.C. and San Francisco.
For now even AT&T’s customers won’t be able to access the new LTE-A network on their smartphones, but the first handset to support the service may be just around the corner. The Galaxy S5 is expected to offer LTE-A capability and Samsung already confirmed the device will support carrier aggregation. With the company’s new flagship phone set to launch next month in the U.S. it won’t be long before the first AT&T customers can enjoy LTE-Advanced speeds.