SFR launches LTE at 337 Mbps using tri-band CA

SFR launched 4G or LTE Advanced services at maximum download speeds of 337.5 Mbps following the implementation of tri-band carrier aggregation (CA) technology into the company's network.

The France-based company, which is now owed by Altice, said the service will initially be available in Brest before being rolled out to a further 20 major cities by the end of 2016. The next cities to receive the service will be Clermont-Ferrand, Dijon, Montpellier and Nantes.

SFR customers will benefit from the higher speeds at no extra cost if they have a mobile contract and a compatible 4G device, although the service is currently only available on Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge and Galaxy S7.

The operator has dubbed the service "ultra high-speed mobile" and said it is able to offer such high speeds through the deployment of 1800 MHz spectrum as an extra band.

Like most operators in Europe, SFR is making use of carrier aggregation and other technologies to improve LTE data speeds ahead of the launch of 5G services.

Its domestic rival, Bouygues Telecom, also said this week that it achieved speeds of more than 1 Gbps in tests on its 4G network with Huawei by deploying four frequency bands and MIMO technology.

Essentially, LTE carrier aggregation increases the bandwidth of the mobile network to deliver higher peak data rates and improvements to the user experience.

In November this year, Ericsson said a demonstration of LTE carrier aggregation conducted on the live Cosmote Greece network hit data download rates of 500 Mbps.

Ericsson also played a part in Vodafone's mid-November trial of LTE carrier aggregation on a live network using licensed and unlicensed spectrum. The infrastructure company supplied its RBS 6402 small cell to the trial, which achieved a download rate of 274 Mbps.

For more:
- see this SFR release (in French)

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