Huawei, Optus achieve 160 Mbps with carrier aggregation on TD-LTE network

Huawei and Australian mobile operator Optus delivered peak speeds of 160 Mbps on the carrier's live TD-LTE network thanks to the deployment of carrier aggregation. This is the first time carrier aggregation has been deployed on a live TD-LTE network, according to Huawei.

Carrier aggregation was deployed across several Optus "4G Plus" sites in Melbourne, where the operator is combining two 20 MHz carriers at 2300 MHz.

"Carrier aggregation is an LTE Advanced technology which combines multiple spectrum bands--it's the technological equivalent adding extra lanes to a highway, allowing for higher-speed data traffic," said Huawei Australia CTO Peter Rossi.

The vendor noted it expects to launch mobile broadband devices compatible with carrier aggregation, as specified under Cat-6 TD-LTE, during 2014.

Huawei and Optus are conducting additional technology testing. In the town of St Marys, the companies combined four 20 MHz carriers on the 2300 MHz band, achieving data speeds in excess of 520 Mbps.

Among other technologies tested during the same trial were 4×4 MIMO, which delivered 125 Mbps on a single 20 MHz carrier, and beamforming, which showed a 67 percent improvement in data speeds at the cell edge, delivering 30 Mbps rather than the standard 18 Mbps.

Huawei said TD-LTE has been commercially deployed by 61 operators worldwide, with 12 of those operators, including Optus, combining both the FDD flavor of LTE with TD-LTE. The Chinese vendor said its technology is being used in 50 of the 61 TD-LTE deployments, giving it "by far the greatest market share of any network vendor." In addition, Huawei already has 80 TD-LTE devices available, with more planned for 2014.

In addition, Huawei claimed it deserves the overall LTE infrastructure vendor crown, given that its equipment is used in 110 of the 244 commercial LTE networks already deployed worldwide, and the company "has already won more LTE network deployment contracts worldwide than any other equipment vendor."

Huawei said its wireless networks support more than 500 mobile operators and more than 2 billion mobile subscribers on 3G and LTE networks. The company's announcement accompanied comments from David Wang, president of Huawei's wireless network business, who told reporters in Shanghai that Huawei's LTE network equipment sales in 2014 will likely reach at least $4 billion.  

Huawei claims rival Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) has only deployed 100 commercial LTE networks, putting the Swedish vendor in second place behind Huawei, reported Light Reading. Huawei also said Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Solutions and Networks has 56 commercial LTE network deployments, followed by Alcatel-Lucent (NASDAQ: ALU) with 24.

According to Light Reading, Huawei said its 88 commercially launched evolved packet core (EPC) networks place it just behind Ericsson, which has 94.

Ericsson, meanwhile, claims it, not Huawei, is the overall market leader in LTE. In announcing an LTE network and EPC contract with first-time customer KDDI of Japan, Ericsson recently said that some 50 percent of the world's LTE smartphone traffic is served by Ericsson networks, "which is more than double the traffic of its closest competitor."  The vendor indicated it has delivered more than 180 LTE RAN and EPC networks worldwide, 110 of which have gone live commercially.

For more:
- see this Huawei release and this release
- see this Ericsson release
- see this Light Reading article

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