Huawei, Nokia show off carrier aggregation projects at MWC Shanghai

Mobile Word Congress Shanghai is going on this week, and carrier aggregation tech will be taking centre stage, with Huawei and Nokia both showing off new LTE-A solutions.

Huawei, 3 Hong Kong and Qualcomm have apparently successfully demonstrated the ‘first’ FDD/TDD-based LTE-A commercial network in Hong Kong, by utilising spectrally-efficient carrier aggregation technology. Inevitably, IoT cropped up as an ideal use-case for more pervasive cellular coverage and bandwidth, with Huawei claiming an integrated FDD-TDD network will support innovative applications of IoT going forward.

3 Hong Kong utilised Huawei’s One LTE solution, which aggregated an FDD carrier, in either the 1800MHz or 2600MHz bands, with TDD 2300MHz to achieve LTE-A speeds utilising two component carriers. Last month Vodafone and Ericsson launched the first commercial implementation of FDD/TDD carrier aggregation in Portugal.

Additionally, Huawei suggested it’s looking to work with 3 Hong Kong to deploy a third component carrier aggregation LTE-A network, targeting a commercial launch in the second half of 2016.

Meanwhile, the Chinese infrastructure giant has also confirmed its acquisition of Irish tech firm Amartus’ SDN software technology, in a bid to further boost its network virtualization portfolio. The vendor claims its intentions are to accelerate its SDN roadmap and improve its competitiveness in SDN solutions and services.

“The expertise and talented staff from Amartus product group who will be joining Huawei will help deliver our commitment to produce and develop innovative and high quality cloud and network services,” said Zha Jun, Huawei’s fixed network product line president.

Nokia’s also been getting busy with TD-based LTE-A; claiming demonstrable transmission rates of 220Mbps based on 3.5GHz interband carrier aggregation. The Finnish firm has announced the live demo will be hosted by China Mobile during MWC Shanghai this week, and utilises its commercial Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station along with a test device to run combined 3.5GHz and 2.6 GHz TD-LTE frequency bands.

China Mobile Research Institute’s VP, Huang Yuhong, explained the trial and its relevance to today’s rapidly evolving Chinese market.

“The mobile 4G market is developing very fast in China,” she said. “On the one hand, millions of users are able to enjoy the convenience brought to them by mobile broadband; on the other hand, we feel the necessity to increase spectrum resources to meet the needs of fast growing data traffic. The 3.5GHz band is another important spectrum resource for 4G networks, which will be used in TD-LTE. This demo not only proves the commercial feasibility of the 3.5GHz TD-LTE band, but also shows 3.5GHz can be aggregated with current bands, enhancing 4G networks with more capacity.”

In a busy week for product announcements, Wind River also announced that its Titanium Server carrier-grade telecom infrastructure software has been accepted by Nokia as an NFV Infrastructure component of its AirFrame data centre solution portfolio.

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