Unlicensed Spectrum with AT&T and Orange

First joint live demonstration of Gigabit LTE using aggregation of licensed and unlicensed spectrum with a commercial modem chipset with AT&T, Ericsson, Orange and Qualcomm

AT&T, Ericsson, Orange and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. are collaborating to showcase Gigabit LTE using License Assisted Access (LAA) technology at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. With LAA, data speeds are boosted using unlicensed spectrum together with licensed spectrum.

Licensed spectrum is costly and limited, and the need for spectrum is huge, as shown in the latest Ericsson Mobility Report which forecasts that smartphones will be using 11 Gigabytes of data a month by 2022.

The demonstration is designed to show that 1Gbps is achievable by aggregating up to 80MHz in licensed and unlicensed bands, using a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 processor together with X16 LTE mobile test device. Fair coexistence between systems operating on the same unlicensed bands is supported using the “listen before talk” mechanisms defined in the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

Tom Keathley, Senior Vice President, Wireless Network Architecture and Design, AT&T, says: “We’re constantly striving to stay at the forefront of connectivity by pushing the industry forward with next-generation network capabilities. Through the deployment of small cells and the use of technologies like Carrier Aggregation and LTE-LAA, we expect to enable theoretical peak speeds up to 1Gbps in some areas in 2017, offering an experience similar to what we’re showcasing at Mobile World Congress.”

Arnaud Vamparys, Vice President, Radio Networks and Microwaves, Orange, says: “The LAA feature offers the reliability and seamless mobility of LTE in licensed spectrum supplemented with a throughput boost via the use of unlicensed spectrum. It is a promising solution for some deployment scenarios, such as next-generation small cells located in high usage areas.”

Unlicensed spectrum provides operators a great way of increasing capacity and improving performance in their networks, both indoors and in hotspot areas. Supporting Gigabit LTE can open up new revenue opportunities for businesses and new services for subscribers.

This cooperation is the first time anyone has been able to demonstrate such high speeds, using Carrier Aggregation of licensed LTE and unlicensed spectrum on a commercial chipset.

Serge Willenegger, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. says: “Cooperation in first-time demonstrations like this one ensures that developing chipsets and network functionality all go hand-in-hand. As a result, consumers can expect smartphones and other mobile devices with Gigabit LTE, including support for LAA, this year.”

Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Network Systems, Ericsson, says: “With LAA, subscribers will be able to enjoy an even better LTE experience as unlicensed spectrum is used to boost data speeds. The LTE and Wi-Fi users will coexist in a fair way in the unlicensed bands and end users will benefit in indoor as well as outdoor environments.”

The demonstration will be on display at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 27 to March 2 at the Qualcomm Technologies booth located at Hall 3, Booth 3E10, the Ericsson booth located in Hall 2, and the AT&T booth located at Hall 4, Booth 4A10.

Ericsson at Mobile World Congress 2017

Anything can happen on the digital frontier, a promising but undiscovered future. From February 27 to March 2 in Barcelona, Spain, Ericsson is demonstrating a collaborative approach and innovative solutions to succeed in this arena.

With our customers and partners, we work across industries, physical boundaries and perceived limitations. Join us in Hall 2 or online during MWC 2017 and engage in conversations and demonstrations about our favorite things: 5G; platforms and services for IT, Cloud, Networks, and TV & Media; connected solutions for industries; the Internet of Things; and partnering for success.

See you there!

*Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries.

*Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.