Vodafone, Huawei and Qualcomm Technologies have come together to build the world’s first LAA ready network.
The network, which will use License Assisted Access technology based on the 3GPP R13 standard, will help improve customer experience by enabling faster download speeds, the companies said.
It was tested using a Huawei Lampsite base station in Vodafone Turkey’s Arena Store in Istanbul. It uses 40MHz of unlicensed spectrum in 5GHz and 15MHz licensed spectrums in 2.6GHz for three carrier aggregation. The on-site peak download speed of 370Mbps was achieved using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with X16 LTE mobile test device.
The companies stated that the on-site test also showed that the spectral efficiency of LAA is higher than Wi-Fi when using the same 40MHz of spectrum. An LAA network can fairly coexist with Wi-Fi technology, the test showed, by supporting the 3GPP R13 standard for “listen before talk” technology.
The 3GPP LAA standard was finalized in March 2016 last year. Consumers can expect smartphones with support for LAA this year.
Santiago Tenorio, Head of Networks for Vodafone Group said: “LAA technology will help Vodafone to improve customer experience. The LAA network fully reuses the existing core network, network management system and accounting system we use for 4G, and so will effectively improve our return on investment.”
Ryan Ding, president of Huawei Products and Solutions, added: "Faced with the large amount of unlicensed spectrum resources which are not fully used we are using LAA technology to extend the LTE system to unlicensed band. This can help operators improve the resources efficiency of unlicensed spectrum, improve network capacity of hotspot, and ease the shortage of spectrum resources.”
Enrico Salvatori, Senior Vice President and President, Qualcomm EMEA said use of the unlicensed spectrum would become an increasingly important part of technology strategy as the industry moves towards Gigabit LTE and 5G. “We have shown that LAA can deliver on those promises today,” he said.