Huawei, Optus launch 1st Carrier Aggregation network

Updated: 2013-12-19 13:20


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CANBERRA - Huawei and Optus have announced the world's first deployment of Carrier Aggregation technology on a live, commercial TD-LTE (Time-Division Long Term Evolution) network, with speeds hitting more than 160Mbps, Huawei Australia announced on Thursday.

The live deployment has been rolled out across a number of Optus' 4G Plus sites in Melbourne, and follows an earlier trial of Carrier Aggregation and other advanced technologies which saw speeds hit over 500Mbps on TD-LTE, the company said in a press release.

"Carrier Aggregation is an LTE-Advanced technology which combines multiple spectrum bands -- it's the technological equivalent adding extra lanes to a highway, allowing for higher- speed data traffic," said Huawei Australia CTO Peter Rossi.

"This project adds to Huawei's long list of world-first technology breakthroughs. By combining two or more channels or ' carriers' on existing live commercial LTE spectrum bands, Optus can dramatically increase throughput on its mobile data network," Rossi said.

The Carrier Aggregation deployment combines two 20MHz carriers on Optus' 2300MHz 4G Plus spectrum. Initial tests have already shown speeds of above 160Mbpson a single device.

"Introducing LTE carrier aggregation into a live, commercial TD- LTE network is a world first and an exciting technology innovation for us," said Vic McClelland, Managing Director of Optus Networks.

"What's more exciting is that Optus customers will soon be able to experience the faster speeds and greater capacity our 4G Plus network and carrier aggregation can provide. With Australians becoming increasingly mobile data hungry, this innovation puts Optus in a great position to provide the network capacity needed to handle this growing data demand."

Additional Carrier Aggregation tests have been conducted by Huawei and Optus in St Marys, west of Sydney, combining four 20MHz carriers for a total of 80MHz on the 2300MHz band to deliver mobile broadband speeds of over 520Mbps.

Huawei expects to launch mobile broadband devices compatible with Carrier Aggregation (known as Cat-6 TD-LTE) in 2014.

Globally, TD-LTE has been commercially deployed by 61 operators, with 12 of those operators combining both FD-LTE (Frequency Division LTE) and TD-LTE. Of the 61 commercial networks, Huawei's technology is being used in 50 deployments, by far the greatest market share of any network vendor.