Sprint, NSN tout demo of 2.6 Gbps throughput on TD-LTE

Sprint (NYSE:S) along with Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Solutions and Networks demonstrated that a single sector of a TD-LTE network can deliver data throughput of 2.6 Gbps.

Zhang Qi

In a test using NSN's Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station at the company's Mountain View, Calif., facility, 120 MHz of Sprint's 2.5 GHz TDD spectrum was aggregated to achieve what the companies claim is a TD-LTE speed record. Increasing the amount of throughput that can be generated on a single cell site allows for higher data speeds to larger numbers of subscribers.

During the Mobile World Congress later this month in Barcelona, the companies will publicly replicate the demo with an aim toward "proving that TD-LTE technology and the ecosystem are ready for global roll out by any operator with TDD spectrum," said Zhang Qi, NSN's vice president for TD-LTE.

For the time being, however, such dramatic TD-LTE speeds will remain relegated to the lab rather than being made available to Sprint customers. "You'll need new devices which support this. The current class of devices do not support that level of speed," Phil Twist, head of NSN portfolio marketing, told FierceWirelessTech.

In October 2013, during a lab demo at Sprint's innovation center in Burlingame, Calif., Sprint and NSN achieved 1.3 Gbps on a single TD-LTE cell using 60 MHz of spectrum. That demo was publicized as part of Sprint's announcement of its tri-band Spark project, which will work via the combination of its 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz LTE spectrum.

In addition, NSN is launching a high-capacity Flexi Multiradio system module for TD-LTE that can deliver up to 5 Gbps of peak throughput from a single site. The vendor claims this will enable operators to deploy TD-LTE networks with fewer base stations and sites, saving up to 50 percent in capex and opex.

Also on the LTE Advanced front, NSN announced an enhanced Inter Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC) offering to balance the subscriber load across small cell and macro layers. NSN says its solution is unique in that it works with LTE devices already in the market as well as the next generation of devices.

"Our system is doing the balancing within the base stations themselves and not having any impact on the devices," Twist said.

In other NSN news this week, the vendor announced software upgrades to its Flexi Multiradio 10 and Flexi Zone micro/pico base stations. At MWC, NSN will demonstrate how its Flexi Multiradio 10 base stations can deliver individual users' downlink data rates of up to 450 Mbps by aggregating spectrum resources on three carriers having a total bandwidth of up to 60 MHz.

NSN provides infrastructure equipment for all three of South Korea's FDD-based LTE Advanced networks, which were each launched last summer by SK Telecom, KT and LG U+.

SK Telecom said last month that it intends to showcase three-band carrier aggregation technology at MWC, delivering download speeds of 450 Mbps by aggregating three 20 MHz bands. NSN would neither confirm nor deny to FierceWirelessTech whether its technology would play any role in that demo.

NSN also this week announced a software upgrade to its Smart Scheduler that operators can use to improve the coordinated scheduling feature in their FDD-LTE and TD-LTE networks to reduce interference between adjacent base stations. "This leads to higher downlink speeds for subscribers, especially at the cell edge where the reduction in interference between cells produces a 30 percent improvement," the company said.  

For more:
- see this NSN release, this release and this release

Related articles:
SK Telecom will demo three-band LTE-A carrier aggregation at MWC 2014
Sprint sparks Nokia's network resurgence
Sprint Spark to combine LTE in 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz, will offer 50-60 Mbps peak speeds
NSN lays out plans for the '5G' mobile network of 2020

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