Along with Ericsson and Qualcomm, Verizon took hardware and technology that’s currently being used to reach optimal speeds, so there’s a good chance their solution could being headed towards area cell towers sooner than later.
What made this test unique was it was the first time a carrier attempted to aggregate a licensed cell spectrum (the airwaves LTE comes across) with an unlicensed spectrum that’s open for anyone to use now (an example would be a spectrum someone uses for their home Wi-Fi network).
According to Verizon, the test showed it reached speeds of 953Mbps, which is within the margin of error of gigabit speeds. While Verizon doesn’t need customers to have that much speed on their smartphones it could have solved another problem—being able to handle more mobile devices in a given area, thus avoiding towers getting overloaded, which can lead to congestion.
The key to Verizon’s test looked to be utilizing four-channel aggregation and the unlicensed spectrum. That’s because channel aggregation involves sing multiple spectrums for a simultaneous transmission instead of a solo channel dedicated to each device in use. Currently, Verizon’s licensed spectrum is in short demand and its frequency does not lend itself for great high-speed transmission.
However, the frequencies that are used for Wi-Fi are ideal for high-speed transmission and are not as valuable as the more costly cell spectrum Verizon currently possesses. If Verizon uses the unlicensed spectrum for high-bandwidth transmission, it can take on more high-speed users simultaneously, which will lead to more rapid average download speeds and less cell tower congestion.