Ericsson demos LTE-U with Qualcomm, plans commercial availability in Q4

Ericsson said a joint demonstration of LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) technology conducted with Qualcomm Technologies is another step along the path towards commercialising 5G.

The Sweden-based equipment manufacturer said the demonstration of LTE-U combined licensed and unlicensed 5 GHz spectrum to deliver a peak throughput of up to 300 Mbps. In a statement, the vendor added that the efficient combination of licensed and unlicensed spectrum is "a key enabler on the road to 5G."

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with X12 LTE was used in the demonstration, which took place at the PT/Expo Comm China 2015 event. The chip was utilised in conjunction with a second-generation Ericsson indoor picocell base station featuring multi-standard and multi-band capabilities, and Wi-Fi technology.

Ericsson said a 20 MHz licensed component carrier was combined with a 20 MHz unlicensed carrier running on 5 GHz spectrum during the demonstration and that the event was an important step towards the commercial launch of LTE-U, which it aims to do during the fourth quarter of the year by adding the technology to its portfolio of small cell base stations.

LTE-U is an effective means of addressing growth in indoor data traffic, the vendor explained. The equipment demonstrated in China is designed to boost coverage in buildings of up to 5,000 square metres, including offices, restaurants and stores.

Ericsson said its LTE-U small cells offer what it called "fair sharing" for spectrum within the 5 GHz band "to accommodate traditional Wi-Fi users" that are typical users of unlicensed spectrum along with those utilising Bluetooth.

At its most basic level, the 'fair sharing' approach means that LTE-U and Wi-Fi users gain equal access to the unlicensed spectrum based on an assessment of interference between the licensed and unlicensed technologies.

The infrastructure company added that its approach to LTE-U provides a "more reliable and predictable performance" to mobile users, because the licensed band "provides an anchor designed to ensure a seamless user experience with full mobility while the unlicensed band provides incremental capacity and a better user experience."

For more:
- see this Ericsson announcement

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