Ericsson: Vodafone Ireland 4G network upgrade delivers fastest LTE uplink rates in Europe

Vodafone Ireland achieved a 200 per cent increase in uplink speeds on its commercial LTE network by deploying an Ericsson carrier aggregation (CA) software upgrade.

The operator recorded an uplink data rate of 136 Mbps by aggregating two 20 MHz carriers and using 64 QAM modulation on its FDD network in Dublin, Ericsson announced. The vendor stated that the increased data uplink rate is the fastest in any commercial network in Europe, and added that peak data rates of 150 Mbps were achieved.

Ericsson noted that demand for faster uplink data rates is being driven by more than just consumers using more data services including social networking and video uploads.

Applications including enterprise cloud are also becoming increasingly uplink data-heavy, it stated, citing video conferencing as a prime example.

"LTE is a powerful mobile technology that is consistently evolving to meet growing demand from both smartphones [sic] users and, increasingly, the Internet of Things", Ericsson's head of radio access networks Per Narvinger said.

Narvinger explained that Ericsson's software update can quickly be deployed on operators' LTE networks. "Operators increasingly differentiate themselves by improving the app coverage experience for their customers, so gaining the first-mover advantage on new features is critical," he noted.

Vodafone Ireland and Ericsson's upgrade utilised a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with X12 LTE. Qualcomm Europe president Enrico Salvatori said subscribers with a mobile device equipped with that silicon "can utilise uplink enhancing technologies to upload content from their mobile devices up to three times faster".

That increase in upload speeds also delivers "improved functionality for users in the network," Salvatori added.

Vodafone Ireland in April announced that it had completed a three-year, €550 million ($608 million), national network upgrade programme that took the coverage of its 4G network to at least 90 per cent of the population. The operator stated that the upgrade had delivered a 40 per cent improvement in subscribers' ability to make calls, while also boosting their ability to maintain a call connection by 80 per cent.

For more:
- see this Ericsson announcement
- view this Vodafone Ireland release

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