"Our goal is to put 1 gig speeds in our customers' hands no matter where they are on our network." CEO Randall Stephenson will begin quadrupling network capacity as soon as this year. John Donovan committed AT&T to deploy Gig LTE this year, 3x to 4x what they are running now. Most of AT&T's 4G network is running 2 bands and 2 antennas. Gig LTE is three or four bands, four antennas, and 256 QAM. 60 MHz allows adding 3 bands for a total of five. SKT, Korea's largest mobile carrier, is already testing five bands with Samsung. (pr below.) Verizon also has > 40 MHz of unused spectrum, enough to double their capacity.
"So you add it all up. We now have more than 60 megahertz of fallow spectrum that we're ready to light up
We'll be deploying all the bands simultaneously starting this fall when states begin to opt in to the FirstNet. The efficiencies we'll gain from climbing the tower once to put up multiple bands of spectrum, those efficiencies are significant. And we're going to see those cost savings and the network performance materialize immediately and then throughout the life of this multiyear buildout.We now have more than 60 megahertz of fallow spectrum … our goal is to put 1 gig speeds in our customers' hands no matter where they are on our network." Randall Stephenson, Seeking Alpha
1 gig to all the cells is realistic. The standard radio for the transmitter site is now 4x4 antennas & four bands. However, speeds are far lower behind walls and at the edge of the cells. SoftBank in Japan is getting good results at the edge using Massive MIMO, but I'm not reading this as an AT&T plan to do Massive MIMO everywhere. That wouldn't be impossible; AT&T is in advanced testing with Blue Danube on an analog M-MIMO system. Randall's not an engineer so I wouldn't read too much into his words.
I also wouldn't infer from this comment a nationwide small cell network for AT&T. They are making a point of doing advanced testing and research, with all the pr and hype that goes along. Verizon plans a massive (~$20B) small cell build and AT&T has a plan to keep up if necessary. Craig Moffett warns their finances are "over-stretched," making that a challenge.
AT&T's Jim Cicconi convinced DC there was a spectrum crisis, now proven a myth.