Turkcell, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies have successfully demoed the world's first live 3-carrier high-speed downlink packet access (3C-HSDPA) on a commercial network.
While LTE coverage continues to be rolled out over the coming years, bringing with it more data capacity and higher speeds, operators still need to find ways to ensure a quality customer experience for mobile broadband. The demonstration was designed to show how that gap can be bridged using 3G HSDPA technology.
The test utilized a feature that will be included in Ericsson's software release 15A and was conducted on a smartphone powered by a Qualcomm processor with its integrated Qualcomm modem.
Three-carrier HSDPA is engineered to increase user speeds for downlink by up to 50% throughout the entire cell compared to single carrier, regardless of network load. The demo recorded 63Mbps downlink.
The demonstration was performed in the 2.1GHz band in a WCDMA commercial network using three 5MHz carriers for downlink and two 5MHz carriers for uplink, which were all within the 2.1GHz frequency band owned by Turkcell. The trial used core network and radio access network nodes supplied by Ericsson.
Bulent Elonu, chief network technology officer, Turkcell, said: "At Turkcell, Turkey's leading telecommunications and technology company, we are following global advancements closely to provide the latest technology to our customers as quickly as possible and to ensure excellent customer experience. We have been following three carrier development plans as the next step from two carrier technology for a long time.
“In the past, we have offered our customers a number of innovative solutions with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies. Today, this successful demonstration enabled us to introduce another groundbreaking innovation. Data download using three carriers has been tested for the first time on a network globally. We are proud that Turkcell has successfully hosted the first global testing of this promising future technology," said Elonu.
Turkcell currently has a dual-carrier HSDPA network supporting speeds of up to 43.2Mbps in downlink, and has 5.76Mbps in uplink.
Ziya Erdem, Ericsson Turkey general manager, said: "In recent years we are experiencing a paradigm shift in the telecommunications world. In this context, application coverage and improving end user experience become our focal points. In cooperation with Turkcell, one of Europe's leading operators, and Qualcomm Technologies, one of the leading chipset manufacturers, we have tested three carrier data download and also two carrier data upload technologies for the first time in the world.
“These technologies will enable Turkcell customers to access their desired mobile applications with even greater ease, and carry end user experience to new heights."
Baris Ruacan, country manager of Qualcomm Turkey, added: "Qualcomm Technologies is committed to taking the broadband mobile internet experience to new levels, which 3C-HSDPA and DC-HSUPA technologies enable. Continuous investment in R&D by Qualcomm Technologies in this space allows us to provide superior mobile experiences for consumers in Turkey."
3C-HSDPA is designed to allow simultaneous downlink transmissions on up to three 5MHz carriers to a single user. It supports both single-band transmission where the 3 carriers reside in the same frequency band and dual-band transmissions where the 3 carriers are spread across two frequency band.
The demonstration also included enhanced uplink multi-carrier (EUL-MC), an Ericsson software release 14B feature, which increases uplink speeds by up to 100%. During the demo, uplink speed improvements of 100% were recorded.
EUL-MC is designed to allow simultaneous uplink transmissions on two 5MHz carriers to a single user offering peak rates of up to 11.5Mbps and up to 100% gain in user speed. This gain is present regardless of load conditions and in the entire network - both cell-centre and cell-edge.
3C-HSDPA and EUL-MC are the next steps in HSPA multi-carrier evolution, a promising technology for app coverage. Using software upgrades, multi-carrier is designed to increase capacity, increase peak rates and improve app coverage substantially.
Both these technologies are major steps in improving the mobile broadband experience for users and they are anticipated to be commercially available in devices during the second half of 2014.