Yesterday in South Africa a telecommunication milestone was achieved as Huawei and Vodacom successfully tested Africa’s first 1Gbps network by aggregating LTE in both licensed and unlicensed bands within the Huawei Lampsite solution. As Huawei reports in a blog post, the peak speed hit over 1Gbps.
In what was the first 1Gbps network and also the first 3 component carrier test in the continent, Huawei and Vodacom achieved a great feat that represented an important milestone for the 4.5G network.
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.