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Sprint Rolls Out 3-Channel Carrier LTE Aggregation In Kansas City

Frank Morris
KCUR 89.3

Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint says it’s set a new record for wireless internet speed in Kansas City, using a technology called three-channel carrier aggregation.

The technology works by bundling data streams, and organizing them to work like one.  Creating one big pipe can handle a lot more information.

Günther Ottendorfer, Sprint’s Chief Operating Officer for technology, says the three-channel carrier aggregation provides much better internet service over the phone than most people have in their homes — speeds approaching a quarter of a gigabyte.  

“It allows you to stream high definition video without buffering. It allows you to do virtual reality, that you were not capable of doing before. It allows many more users at the same time to use services,” says Ottendorfer. 

This means your phone shouldn’t bog down, even someplace like Kauffman Stadium.

Three-channel carrier aggregation doesn’t work on all, or even most phones. Sprint launched the technology first in Chicago earlier this week. Verizon says it’s running the same system across most of the country, and the other carriers aren’t far behind. 

Ottendorfer says Sprint has more headroom in the bandwidth arms race, because the carrier has more capacity on its network than the other carriers do.  He says he expects another leap in mobile internet speed in the next year or so. 

Frank Morris is a national correspondent and senior editor at KCUR 89.3. You can reach him on Twitter @FrankNewsman.

I’ve been at KCUR almost 30 years, working partly for NPR and splitting my time between local and national reporting. I work to bring extra attention to people in the Midwest, my home state of Kansas and of course Kansas City. What I love about this job is having a license to talk to interesting people and then crafting radio stories around their voices. It’s a big responsibility to uphold the truth of those stories while condensing them for lots of other people listening to the radio, and I take it seriously. Email me at frank@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @FrankNewsman.
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