Working with Ericsson and Qualcomm, international carrier Vodafone announced Wednesday it successfully tested technology that allows the aggregation of licensed and unlicensed spectrum.
According to Vodafone, the trial took place Tuesday using an Ericsson RBS 6402 small cell and a test device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X12 modem. The test successfully aggregated 20MHZ of licensed spectrum in the 1800 band and 20MHz on the unlicensed 5GHz band to achieve download speeds of over 274 Mbps.
Vodafone said the technology has the potential to help it cope with a crushing demand for data that is only expected to increase. The company said subscribers currently use twice as much 4G data as they used on the old 3G network.
“This technology will help us to further expand 4G capacity and improve the experience our customers have when using mobile broadband,” Vodafone’s Li Lin wrote. “The 5GHz unlicensed spectrum band, targeted using this License Assisted Access (LAA) technique, is less crowded than licensed bands, with up to 600MHz of spectrum available. That means our customers would be able to download data faster, a particular benefit when undertaking demanding online activity, such as watching videos or playing games.”
Despite Tuesday’s success, Vodafone said is committed to developing Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) within the 3GPP standards process and has no plans to roll out the technology in Europe before the conclusion of that process. Vodafone said it expects the LAA standards will be finalized in the 3GPP Release13 next year.
Filed Under: Telecommunications (Spectrum)