Nokia and T-Mobile have got that bit closer to reaching the holy grail of achieving LTE speeds of 1 Gbps. In a demonstration conducted at T-Mobile's lab in Bellevue, Washington using Nokia's 4.5G Pro technology speeds of near 1 Gbps were reached.
The demonstration used three carrier aggregation (Bands 2 and 66), 256 QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) - a higher order modulation scheme that allows an increase in peak data rates of up to 30% compared with 64 QAM - and 4x4 MIMO (Multiple Input and Multiple Output) for doubling peak speeds. The demonstration was carried out on Nokia's commercially available LTE eNodeB radio access hardware.
With Category 16 (Cat 16) capable devices becoming commercially available in early 2017, the solution enables an even faster network for T-Mobile. Currently, the network provides speeds up to 400 Mbps.
T-Mobile has already launched 4x4 MIMO, carrier aggregation and 256 QAM modulation to provide ultra-high speed services and a superior customer experience to its subscribers nationwide.
With the availability of Cat 16 devices, it will be possible to achieve nearly 1 Gbps speeds when combining all three of the technologies, which the joint demonstration of Nokia's 4.5G Pro successfully proved.
Nokia 4.5G Pro and 4.9G were launched in September 2016, innovations aimed at achieving ultra-high speeds and in enabling operators to significantly enhance LTE and prepare for the path to 5G. The technology allows operators such as T-Mobile to take advantage of major increases in speed and capacity where and when they need it.
Neville Ray, CTO, T-Mobile, said: "We've had the fastest LTE network for the last three straight years, but we never stop innovating. We demonstrated nearly 1 Gbps speeds over the air on LTE with our long-standing strategic partner, Nokia, to show how much more our network can do to achieve higher speeds and superior performance."
Ricky Corker, EVP and Head of North America, Nokia, said: "Use of three-carrier component aggregation with 4x4 MIMO and 256 QAM is the perfect solution for T-Mobile as it looks to optimise network performance with available spectrum. With this demonstration, we are preparing the T-Mobile network to launch the highest speeds possible."