Glossary Definition for: LTE-LAA

LTE-LAA (aka LTE Band 46) is a technology that lets cellular carriers tap into unused and unlicensed 5GHz Wi-Fi spectrum to offer crazy fast speeds over short ranges.

The "LAA" stands for "Licensed Assisted Access" - which means that your primary connection is still over traditional cellular bands, and the Wi-Fi frequencies are only there for a speed boost. Theoretically, the technology is designed to co-exist with nearby Wi-Fi signals to avoid causing any interference.

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Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have all begun to use LTE-LAA in some of their most congested urban areas, and the some flagship LTE devices (like the iPhone XS and Netgear Nighthawk) automatically support tapping into these VIP express lanes.

NOTE: It seems that some devices are not able to use 5GHz for both Wi-Fi and cellular simultaneously. For example - the Netgear Nighthawk can only host a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network with LAA enabled. Enabling 5GHz Wi-Fi disables LAA compatibility.

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