MTN South Africa have partnered with Ericsson to successfully trial LTE-Unlicensed achieving a very impressive 200Mbps speeds.
This is faster than the highest advertised speeds of LTE-A.
MTN combined two frequencies of spectrum into one application – 10MHz of MTN’s licensed 1800MHz spectrum and 20MHz within the unlicensed 5GHz band.
“LTE-U is designed to take advantage of the capacity available in the unlicensed 5GHz band spectrum. Through aggregating licensed spectrum with unlicensed spectrum a bigger LTE carrier is created. The ability to aggregate spectrum is one of the primary benefits of LTE. Using this technology, MTN is able to combine its LTE spectrum with portions of the 5GHz spectrum band, to enable LTE- Unlicensed,” said Krishna Chetty, acting chief technology officer for MTN South Africa.
In March last year, Qualcomm announced its first small-cell system-on-a-chip for LTE-U, the same system used by MTN.
“The lack of critical high-value spectrum has compelled MTN to combine existing licensed mobile spectrum with unlicensed 5GHz spectrum to cater for the rollout of new generation networks such as LTE-U,” said Chetty.
Henrik Linnet, Head of Practice Mobile Broadband, Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa says: “We are very excited to be trialing LTE-U with MTN in South Africa. This solution when fully operational will allow MTN to boost data speeds and coverage in the cellular network and support the growth of indoor traffic, by using the unlicensed 5 GHz band already populated by Wi-Fi devices. This is the first LTE-U trial and first enhanced CSAT (Carrier Sensing Adaptive Transmission) functionality demonstrated in Africa. Through this, we demonstrated that LTE is a good neighbor to Wi-Fi. We are proud to have teamed up with our longstanding partner to demonstrate this service in South Africa on the way to future 5G deployments.”