Ericsson, Telstra demo 300 Mbps downlink via carrier aggregation

Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and Australian telco Telstra said they have demonstrated downlink data speeds up to 300 Mbps via LTE Advanced carrier aggregation that combined 20 MHz of bandwidth from the 1800 MHz band with 20 MHz form the 2600 MHz band.

The demo, which included video content downloads, was conducted on on Telstra's live commercial network. In ideal conditions, speeds of up to 300 Mbps would enable consumers to download an 800 MB file in about 21 seconds.

Telstra noted it intends to deploy carrier aggregation on 700 MHz spectrum once the frequencies become available through Australia's so-called digital dividend as Australia switches from analog to digital TV signals.

Mike Wright, Telstra's executive director of networks, said that the tests were an important foundational step toward the operator being able to deploy Cat 6 LTE-A carrier aggregation.

"While the download speeds we achieved of 300 Mbps are very impressive, for Telstra the main outcome is that we will be able to build out the capacity in our network to manage the future wireless data needs of our customers and continue to deliver them the most reliable network speeds and experience," Wright said.

Thomas Noren, Ericsson's head of product area radio, said the vendor was pleased to show that its networks are ready for carrier aggregation beyond 20 MHz of bandwidth.

Other operators around the world are moving to aggregate large swaths of spectrum. Total Telecom noted South Korea's SK Telecom said a few weeks ago that it will aggregate three carriers to raise its LTE-A network speeds to 300 Mbps.

Similarly, UK operator EE recently switched on an early version of its LTE Advanced network, with initial coverage limited to an area in the UK capital called London Tech City. Huawei is providing equipment for the network, which EE said can reach speeds of 300 Mbps and is expected to be commercially available starting in mid-2014.

For more:
- see this joint Ericsson and Telstra release
- see this Total Telecom article

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