HKT and Huawei have successfully demonstrated what they claim is the world’s first IP-RAN based LTE-A 450Mbps solution (3 FDD carrier aggregation) in Hong Kong.
At a press briefing today (23 April 2015), HKT and Huawei achieved a peak download rate of 440Mbps in a live test of the world’s first demonstration of three component carrier (3CC) inter-site LTE-A carrier aggregation (CA) across three 20MHz spectrum blocks using an IP radio access network (IP-RAN) based solution.
HKT is rolling out its LTE-A 450Mbps network using this IP-RAN based solution, and expects the network to be commercialised with compatible smartphones by 2016. This will bring a dramatically improved Internet experience to Hong Kong mobile users, enabling faster downloads, enhanced audio and video streaming, and more reliable video conferencing.
Being the most important feature of LTE-A, CA technology allows the combined use of fragmented spectrum resources to increase data throughput where implementations today require that the fragmented spectrum resources be hosted by the same cell site.
However, many commercial CA networks today have coverage holes due to coverage differences between LTE cell sites using different spectrums, thus imposing difficulty of combining LTE carriers on different spectrums for CA realization, which in turn disrupts the user experience.
To solve this problem, Huawei has invented an inter-site CA solution, which is able to combine carriers from more than one cell site to maximize the CA coverage area.
Peter Lam, managing director of HKT’s Engineering said: “HKT has always been a pioneer in technology and is one of the early adopters of LTE-A technology among other global players. Building on our fibre-rich network and leveraging our widest range of mobile spectrum, HKT commercially launched Hong Kong’s LTE-A 300Mbps network in December 2014 by combining two 20MHz spectrum blocks.
“With Huawei’s advanced IP-RAN based CA solution, HKT will be able to get the most from our frequency resources to further raise the bar to LTE-A 450Mbps by combining disparate chunks of 20MHz spectrums from different sites.
“This will enable HKT to provide more network capacity together with a superior and unparalleled user experience. We are proud to be a leader in LTE-A adoption and we will continue to deploy advanced technology to improve network performance for our customers,” said Lam.
David Wang, president of Huawei Wireless Network Product Line, said: “Huawei and HKT are committed to building a world-leading LTE-A commercial network for Hong Kong. Having achieved the world’s first inter-site 3CC CA realization, we will now work together to plan for the full commercial use of this technology, aiming to further uplift the mobile experience for Hong Kong users.”