Swisscom plans LTE-A Pro launch in 2017 after hitting 1 Gbps in tests with Ericsson

Swisscom claimed it is 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 this week in conjunction with Ericsson.

The operator said the tests are an important step towards boosting mobile Internet speeds, and position it well to match the growing volume of data its subscribers are sending on its cellular infrastructure. 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.

"At the beginning of this week, we were able to celebrate a first for Europe by achieving a transfer rate of 1 Gbps, thanks to our close collaboration with Ericsson. This success shows me that Swisscom is on the right path for innovation," stated Heinz Herren, CTO and CIO at Swisscom.

Swisscom explained that LTE-A Pro represents an important interim step in its path towards deploying 5G technology. In addition to delivering data rates of 1 Gbps in the downlink, the development of the 4G technology will allow the operator to offer subscribers data rates of 150 Mbps in the uplink.

The operator stated that its LTE network covers 98 per cent of the Swiss population, and that it has already deployed LTE-A in at least 100 locations throughout the country. Those existing LTE-A sites offer theoretical data rates of 300 Mbps, it noted.

Martin Bürki, CEO of Ericsson Switzerland, said Swisscom's tests are the fruit of a close relationship between the companies, and highlight how that partnership has developed from a traditional purchaser and supplier set-up to one that sees the companies collaborating on technical innovation.

"With Europe's very first LTE Advance Pro transfer of 1 Gbps live over Swisscom's mobile broadband network, we are highlighting the innovative strength of our close and effective collaboration," Bürki commented.

For more:
- see this Swisscom announcement

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