Ericsson and Telefónica have demonstrated live, over-the-air delivery of LTE in unlicensed spectrum through Telefónica's network. The LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) demonstration used the Ericsson RBS 6402 – an indoor pico cell solution offering three standards (LTE, WCDMA and Wi-Fi), 10 frequency bands and up to 300 Mbps LTE carrier aggregation.
LTE-U is a commercially available Ericsson Networks Software capability that enables operators to utilise unlicensed 5 GHz spectrum in combination with their licensed LTE spectrum. As a result, operators can increase download speeds in indoor environments, improve application coverage and raise the quality of their subscribers' mobile data experiences.
Ericsson is also announcing the implementation of a range of enhancements to the Ericsson Networks Software LTE-U offering. These enhancements include: improved LTE-U performance and efficiency; reduced LTE-U transmission duration in line with 3GPP Rel.-13 LAA specifications (an alternative way of utilising LTE in unlicensed bands); and a smooth transition to migrate to 3GPP Rel-13 License Assisted Access (LAA) through software upgrades for the Ericsson RBS 6402 providing:
• Listen before talk (LBT) for LTE-U without any impact on deployed devices
• Full co-existence between LTE-U and Rel-13 LAA devices on the same LAA carrier
• This will allow operators across the globe to leverage unlicensed 5 GHz spectrum for improved peak rates and capacity even before Rel-13 LAA becomes available, in places where national regulations allow the use pre-Rel-13 LAA standards.
Angel Blazquez, Director of Radio and Core in Telefonica Spain, said: "This demonstration proves that multiple technologies will co-exist for best use of all spectrum and to support all deployment scenarios, widening the LTE ecosystem using the aggregation with licensed spectrum to provide the best performance experience."
Eric Parsons, Head of Mobile Broadband, 4G/5G Radio Access, Ericsson, says: "Ericsson's pioneering demonstration with Telefónica, combined with the enhancements to our industry-leading indoor radio portfolio, represent a milestone in the development of LTE-U.
"With global data traffic growing exponentially, spectrum has become one of the world's most valuable resources. By enabling the use of unlicensed 5 GHz spectrum to boost peak data rates and capacity, LTE-U helps operators extract maximum value from their spectrum investments while bringing high-quality experiences to mobile broadband users everywhere."