Clearwire continues to try and bolster its LTE network in the United States, but is approaching things from a fresh angle with its latest announcement. The wireless provider is partnering with Qualcomm in order to add support for Band 41 to multi-mode LTE chipsets. That’s good news for those hoping to maintain LTE connectivity across the US, as devices will potentially be compatible with a wide range of LTE bands across multiple networks.
Right now, AT&T and Verizon make use of the 700Mhz for their LTE networks, although they both hold different sections. Clearwire’s intends to add support for Band 41, which is around the 2500Mhz. Right now it uses that spectrum for WiMAX access, but will deploy LTE on the same band.
It comes as good news, as the support will ultimately work its work into chipsets designed for a wide variety of phones across the world, meaning we could potentially see some true interoperability. Having said that, AT&T and Verizon both use different sections of the 700Mhz band, deliberately making sure that LTE devices from one network won’t work on the other. Modem manufacturers like Qualcomm can add the support, but at the end the carriers have the final say.
Qualcomm say the latest LTE chipsets with Band 41 support will work their way into devices towards the end of this year. You can expect to see those devices hitting Clearwire’s network once its LTE options are a little more fleshed out.