Huawei and Vodacom South Africa have successfully tested Africa’s first 1Gbps network by aggregating LTE in both licensed and unlicensed bands with Huawei LampSite solution. The peak speed hit over 1Gbps. This is the first 1Gbps network and also the first 3 component carrier test in Africa. 1Gbps represent the important milestone of 4.5G network.
Meanwhile, another live trial has successfully demonstrated the co-existence of LTE in unlicensed band in open public areas like Vodacom World’s conference venues and a shopping mall like Sandton City where existing Wi-Fi services are already being widely used and the spectrum is fairly shared between the different technologies.
The deployed network has a natural evolution path and can be software upgraded to a fully LBT (Listen Before Talk) compliant solution, known as LAA (License Assisted Access), which will be finalized in the 3GPP Release 13 specifications. Standard LAA within the 3GPP standards process will ensure fair share use among the multiple users and technologies (e.g. Wi-Fi) that access the unlicensed bands.
For this public trial demonstrating LTE in unlicensed co-existence, Huawei worked with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to use a test mobile device based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with X12 LTE for the live network trial. Commercial mobile devices are expected to be released by manufacturers towards the 2nd half of the year.
Huawei believes that LAA is an innovative way to maximize the efficiency of unlicensed spectrum and enables better user experience.
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