Huawei debuts 1GBps speeds in Africa, trials LAA

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Huawei has brought the first 1GBps network to Africa, working with Vodacom by aggregating licensed and unlicensed spectrum.

The demonstration involved the aggregation of three carriers, also the first time that technology has been used in Africa.

Both companies also held tests of licence assisted access (LAA) technology, which aggregates a licensed and unlicensed band while ensuring fair sharing with the likes of Wi-Fi and other users of the band.

The tests took place in Vodacom World's conference venues and the Sandton City shopping centre. Huawei said these venues are good examples of where Wi-Fi is already used and the spectrum can be fairly shared between different types of technology.

Huawei used a test mobile device that is based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 processor with X12 LTE. The first commercial devices that will be LAA compatible will hit the market during the second half of this year.

Last week, Huawei demonstrated speeds of 1.1GBps in a trial with Proximus, although that test aggregated four bands of the Belgian operator's licensed spectrum.

It also revealed its plans with Vodafone to turn Madrid into a pioneer of smart city technology.

In February, Deutsche Telekom held a trial of licence assisted access technology with Qualcomm in Nuremburg.

The operator has identified the technology as a crucial way of meeting the surging demands in data as well as improving mobile connectivity across its network.