Swisscom, Ericsson, Qualcomm claim European FDD/TDD first

Ericsson has laid claim to successfully demonstrating Europe’s first commercial LTE-Advanced network utilising three-carrier aggregation with Swisscom.

The Swedish vendor said the trial, involving a contained deployment at a Swisscom store in Zurich, is the first time two LTE TDD carriers have been combined with an FDD carrier to achieve enhanced download speeds. In this environment, a peak download speed of 335 Mbps was achieved by utilising two 20MHz blocks of spectrum in the 2.6GHz frequency band for TDD, and one 15 MHz block in the 2.1GHz band.

Swisscom plans to roll out the service commercially to consumers within a year, targeting summer 2016 when the first compatible smartphones and chipsets will be available. CTO Heinz Herren is initially looking at rollout in metropolitan and densely populated areas.

“Swisscom innovates to offer customers the best network at all times,” he said. “With LTE FDD and TDD we are the first provider in Europe to offer a completely new combination of technologies, and in doing so we are underscoring our technological leadership. LTE FDD/TDD will be provided to all our customers at heavily frequented locations from summer 2016.”

By combining frequency and time division duplexing, operators are theoretically capable of delivering enhanced download and upload data rates for users browsing the web or utilising entertainment or enterprise services. Ericsson’s Switzerland MD, Martin Bürki was chuffed. “With this world first, we underline our commitment to helping Swisscom bring Swiss subscribers the latest innovations and ensure top network performance and app coverage.

While LTE-A rollouts are becoming increasingly pervasive across the world, deployments to date have usually focussed on utilising either FDD or TDD, carrier aggregation-based LTE-A is apparently becoming a more feasible target, with Vodafone Portugal recently announcing two carrier aggregation rollout with Ericsson recently.

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