Huawei unveiled its “Unlicensed LTE (U-LTE)” solution at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014. U-LTE aggregates licensed and unlicensed spectrum bands to provide a better subscriber experience, strengthen overall network capacity, and expand market opportunities for mobile operators.
Licensed spectrum bands are a core operator asset and the fundamental basis for providing high-quality wireless communication services. Unlicensed spectrum bands (like 5GHz) will increasingly play an important role in mobile operator business models due to the increasing scarcity of licensed bands and the need for continued growth in network capacity.
U-LTE allows operators to aggregate data streams being carried on both licensed and unlicensed spectrum bands to strengthen network capacity, improve spectral efficiency, and dramatically improve user experience.
Unlicensed bands allow for enhanced delivery of services with ultra-wideband frequencies, while at the same time licensed bands also for greater mobility and continuity of service of the enhanced service experience.
Huawei’s U-LTE solution is based on existing LTE network technologies and does not require modifying existing security certification protocols or core network architecture for billing. Upgrading base stations to U-LTE is seamless without needing to stop operations.
Typical deployment scenarios for U-LTE include indoor, outdoor and hotspot coverage locations. Small cell equipment can flexibly and cost-effectively employ U-LTE without adding additional sites and transmission resources.
Huawei has been active in promoting the standardization of U-LTE technologies. Representatives from more than 40 mobile industry companies attended a U-LTE seminar held by Huawei in late January 2014 in Paris, France. Topics at the seminar included LTE unlicensed band standards, as well as general industry and supply chain trends.
In a lab environment, Huawei has successfully achieved a 740 Mbps peak rate with a U-LTE product prototype aggregating multiple licensed and unlicensed spectrum data streams.