France trials Licensed Shared Access technology using defence spectrum

Technology from Ericsson, Red Technologies and Qualcomm is being used to enable spectrum sharing in the 2.3-2.4 GHz band

France trials Licensed Shared Access technology using defence spectrum

An extensive trial of Licensed Shared Access (LSA) technology began in Paris this week using spectrum allocated to the French Ministry of Defence in the 2.3-2.4 GHz band and accessing technology provided by Ericsson, Red Technologies and Qualcomm.

LSA (also known as authorised shared access) allows holders of licensed spectrum (e.g. military, satellite, some commercial users) who do not use all of their frequencies, all of the time, everywhere, to sub-let their unused spectrum – without interfering with incumbent usage - to mobile operators through multi-lateral agreements overseen by regulators. Incumbents can share their spectrum in time, frequency and/or geography.

Under the pilot, launched by French Digital Affairs Minister Axelle Lemaire, will see the French MoD spectrum shared using Ericsson’s radio access network.

The success of the French LSA pilot should lead to the release of high volumes of licensed spectrum in France within the next 24 months, further enabling market growth, competition and innovation. On a wider scale, the application of LSA to the 2.3-2.4 GHz band across Europe will release enough spectrum to enable innovative 5G services for all EU citizens.

The pilot combines Ericsson’s carrier aggregation technology with RED Technologies’ spectrum assessment and management technologies. These solutions are combined for the first time within an LSA user framework enabled by Qualcomm Technologies and applicable to 5G.

The roles of the project participants are as follows:

Ericsson: Radio access solution including new carrier aggregation technology and Radio Dot System, enabling innovative small cell deployments for high performance indoor voice and data coverage and capacity.

RED Technologies: provided a dynamic spectrum management platform based on live radio environment maps and self-organising networking engines.

Qualcomm Technologies: provided 4G devices powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

The French regulatory authority ARCEP and the Ministry of Defence authorised the use of the 2.3-2.4 Ghz band for the pilot.

“This initiative touches the core of the French telecoms industry and has the potential to considerably enhance the consumer mobile experience in France as well as generate significant economic return. The participants involved are demonstrating commendable foresight and inventive strength,” said French Minister for Digital Affairs, Axelle Lemaire.

“Spectrum availability is a core condition for flourishing technology adoption and innovation. This LSA pilot is therefore a vital step towards the realisation of Europe’s Digital Single Market,” said Wassim Chourbaji, Vice-President of Government Affairs at Qualcomm Communications.

“This collaboration will maintain French leadership in LSA. RED Technologies is proud to enable this and sees the pilot as an opportunity to keep on innovating in dynamic spectrum management,” Michael Abitbol, managing director of RED Technologies.

“Sufficient availability of licensed spectrum will be a key asset to allow the deployment of 5G services, with the expected capacity and QoS requirements. LSA is an agile technology approach to boost capacity. The combination of licensed and unlicensed bands is a key 5G technology development area” said Thomas Noren, Vice President, Head of Radio Product Management, Ericsson.

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