Vodafone and Ericsson roll out first commercial FDD/TDD carrier aggregation in Portugal

Swedish networking giant Ericsson has announced the first commercial implementation of FDD/TDD carrier aggregation (CA) on Vodafone’s network in Portugal.

FDD/TDD CA is positioned as offering the best of both words, with FDD using separate frequencies for uplink and downlink, while TDD alternates the two on the same frequency. The incumbent network is FDD, so the addition of TDD technology is said to significantly enhance the total downlink data capacity. Vodafone’s current trial in its Portuguese network uses 15 MHz of band 3 (FDD 1800) and 20 MHz of band 38 (TDD 2600). Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 SoC was used for measurement and testing.

“Combining TDD with low-band FDD spectrum will improve the high-band TDD coverage area, and the TDD spectrum will significantly improve the overall downlink throughput,” said Per Narvinger, Head of LTE at Ericsson. “With global availability of TDD spectrum, we regard FDD/TDD carrier aggregation as a key technology to further improve user experience for customers worldwide.”

“We are delighted to work with Ericsson and Vodafone on the latest LTE-Advanced multimode solutions and to deliver consumers an improved mobile broadband experience,” said Enrico Salvatori, President of Qualcomm Europe. “The Snapdragon 810 processor with X10 LTE builds upon our leadership in LTE-Advanced technology by supporting carrier aggregation across LTE TDD and LTE FDD.”

In a busy day for Ericsson announcements, South Korean operator SK Telecom has demonstrated a new small cell technology in partnership with Ericsson that improves data rates by suppressing inter-cell interference based on a new radio frame architecture, which is inevitably being labelled as ‘5G’.

“SK Telecom is delighted to announce the successful development of the 5G small cell system that tackles the root cause of inter-cell interference,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, SK Telecom CTO. “We will continue to work closely with Ericsson to develop key 5G technologies so as to demonstrate a 5G trial service in 2018.”

“With the development of the 5G small cell system, an enabling technology for 5G, we move one step closer to realizing the commercialization of 5G,” said Thomas Norén, Head of Radio Product Management at Ericsson. “Building on our achievement, we will keep collaborating with SK Telecom to develop 5G enabling technologies and services to lead the upcoming 5G market.”

Lastly Ericsson has revealed that UK fixed-line giant BT will use it to run a bunch of new services for its BT sport channels, which will include the new BT Sport UHD channel and a ‘red button’ service that allows viewers to choose between eight live broadcasts.

“BT Sport’s UEFA Champions League coverage sets out to bring viewers the best ever experience of football’s leading club competition,” said Jamie Hindhaugh, COO, BT Sport and BT TV. “Our 4K coverage of the UEFA Champions League alongside other competitions will bring a truly cinematic experience into fans’ living rooms.”

“We are very proud that BT has selected Ericsson to help launch a new range of high-profile TV services, including the UK’s first UHDTV channel,” said Thorsten Sauer, Head of Broadcast and Media Services at Ericsson. “BT Sport has made a significant commitment to its sport broadcasting portfolio, and we are delighted that Ericsson will play an integral role in its future success.”

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