Huawei and Docomo demonstrate unified LAA and wifi

Huawei says it has proved that Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) and wifi are capable of coexistence as a unified channel in a dense small cell. In a demonstration held at the Yokosuka Research Park in Yokohama, Japan it claims to have demonstrated the first realistic LAA deployment in an unlicensed band.

The live demonstration, conducted jointly with Japanese mobile operator NTT Docomo at its R&D facilities, indicates that LAA and wifi can be used together in compliance with standardised LAA in the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

Unlike a previous LAA exercise held in July 2015, this demo created a practical field test case involving multi-access points and a multi-user small cell network, with an unlicensed carrier operating outside the bounds of a cable connection. The results further confirmed that LAA can support a co-existence between different channels and is capable of supporting high performance levels. The conclusion of the experiment is that aggregating carrier channels has real potential for commercial applications in 5G networks.

In November reported how stakeholders in the wifi and LTE networking sectors were starting to organise co-existence workshops in order to defuse tension over their shared ambitions for using unlicensed spectrum. Operators and equipment makers are already testing carrier aggregation methods for harnessing licensed and unlicensed spectrum for LTE.

In the same Huawei/Docomo demo, the partners jointly showed how the limits of the 3GPP standard could be pushed – without jeopardising compatibility – using another co-existence technique developed by Huawei. The new adaptive Listen-Before-Talk (LBT) technology could get 50% higher performance from LAA, it claimed. Huawei and Docomo first began collaborating to develop LAA in early 2014.

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