AT&T, Ericsson, Orange and Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) through its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., are collaborating to show Gigabit LTE using License Assisted Access (LAA) technology. With LAA, data speeds are boosted using unlicensed spectrum together with licensed spectrum.
Licensed spectrum is costly and limited, and the need for spectrum is huge, as shown in the Ericsson Mobility Report, November 2016, forecasting that smartphones will be using 11 Gigabytes of data a month by 2022.
The demonstration is designed to show that 1 Gigabit per second is achievable by aggregating up to 80 MHz in licensed and unlicensed bands, using a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 processor with X16 LTE mobile test device. Fair co-existence between systems operating on the same unlicensed bands is being supported using the “listen before talk” mechanisms defined in ETSI.
“We’re constantly striving to stay at the forefront of connectivity by pushing the industry forward with next-generation network capabilities,” said Tom Keathley, senior vice president, wireless network architecture and design, AT&T. “Through the deployment of small cells and the use of technologies like carrier aggregation and LTE-License Assisted Access (LAA), we expect to enable theoretical peak speeds up to 1Gbps in some areas in 2017, offering an experience similar to what we’re showcasing at Mobile World Congress.”
“LAA feature offers the reliability and seamless mobility of LTE in licensed spectrum supplemented with a throughput boost through the use of unlicensed spectrum. It is a promising solution for some deployment scenarios, such as next generation small cells located in high usage areas,” said Arnaud Vamparys, vice president, radio networks and microwaves, Orange.
Unlicensed spectrum provides operators a great way of increasing capacity and improving performance in their networks, both indoors and in hotspot areas. Supporting Gigabit LTE can open up new revenue opportunities for businesses and new services for subscribers.
This cooperation is the first time anyone has been able to demonstrate such high speeds, using carrier aggregation of licensed LTE and unlicensed spectrum on a commercial chipset.
“Cooperation in first-time demonstrations like this one ensures that developing chipsets and network functionality all go hand-in-hand. As a result, consumers can expect smartphones and other mobile devices with Gigabit LTE, including support for LAA, this year,” said Serge Willenegger, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
“With LAA, subscribers will be able to enjoy an even better LTE experience as unlicensed spectrum is used to boost data speeds. The LTE and Wi-Fi users will co-exist in a fair way in the unlicensed bands and end users will benefit in indoor as well as outdoor environments,” said Per Narvinger, head of product line radio access network, Ericsson.
The demonstration will be on display at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 27 through March 2 at the Qualcomm Technologies booth located at Hall 3, Booth 3E10, the Ericsson booth located in Hall 2, and the AT&T booth located at Hall 4, Booth 4A10.
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