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Turkcell shows off five carrier LTE-A ahead of nationwide launch

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Turkcell has demonstrated speeds of 1.2GBps by aggregating five carriers in a test with Huawei, as the Turkish market moves closer to launching 4G services.

The Turkish operator used 79.8MHz of frequency in the trial. It involved chunks of 20MHz and 9.8MHz in the 1800MHZ band, 20MHz and 10MHz in the 2.1GHz band, and 20MHz in the 2.6GHz band. Turkcell bought spectrum in each of those frequencies during last summer's 4G auction.

The operator is planning to leap straight to LTE-Advanced services when it launches its network on 1 April. Three carrier aggregation will be used to power networks offering speeds of up to 375MBps. It is aiming to increase that to more than 1GBps by the end of this year.

Ilker Kuruoz, Turkcell’s CTO, said: “With the 4.5G auction, we had set the bar high in terms of offering the fastest mobile broadband internet. We had announced that we would not only offer the country’s fastest 4.5G upon roll-out on April 1st, but also go beyond that in order to match the current fiber experience on mobile. With this speed demo, we are not only pushing the limits of 4.5G but also taking a major step towards 5G experience in terms of reaching speeds that exceed 1 Gbps.”

[Read more - Turkcell bets on LTE-A as it gets ready for long-awaited LTE race]

Turkcell said it expects the first smartphones that can support five carrier aggregation will be available by the middle of next year.

Meanwhile, the operator has launched its VoIP application BiP into Ukraine. The application offers voice and video calling, and messaging services. The application has been downloaded 4.2 million times across 169 countries.