Bouygues Telecom said it achieved speeds of more than 1 Gbps in tests on its 4G network with Huawei, becoming the latest operator in Europe to join what some have dubbed the "Gigabit LTE" club at least in terms of trials.
The France-based operator said it deployed four frequency bands (four-band carrier aggregation) with a total spectrum of 60 MHz; used MIMO 4×4 technology and 256 QAM modulation; and aggregated two frequencies on the uplink.
With this configuration, Bouygues Telecom said it achieved speeds of more than 1.1 Gbps on the downlink and more than 100 Mbps on the uplink.
The test was carried out at a Bouygues Telecom lab in Meudon using Huawei RAN technology equipped with SRAN 11 software and the operator's fibre optic network.
Jean-Paul Arzel, director of networks at Bouygues Telecom, hailed the results of the test as a "new stage" in the performance of 4G technology and said such speeds would help support future growth in customer mobile data usage.
The company did not disclose which frequency bands were deployed in the tests or when services may become commercially available. It had not responded to requests for further clarification by the time of publication.
Speaking to sister title FierceWireless in February, Ericsson said "Gigabit LTE" would probably need to incorporate unlicensed spectrum for most operators to deploy it.
Vodafone Germany also said this week that it would offer LTE speeds of "more than 1 Gbps" in selected locations at the end of 2016. In April, Swisscom claimed to have been the first operator in Europe to successfully transfer data at 1 Gbps over its commercial mobile broadband network, following tests of LTE-Advanced Pro (LTE-A Pro) conducted in conjunction with Ericsson.
Swisscom plans to launch LTE-A Pro commercially in early 2017, noting that the technology will relieve the pressure on its existing mobile Internet network for the foreseeable future.
In February, Qualcomm Technologies said the launch of sample quantities of the industry's first gigabit-class LTE modem was an important step towards 5G.
- see the Bouygues Telecom announcement (in French)
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