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Telefónica and Ericsson team up for live LTE-U demo

The growing momentum over the use of unlicensed spectrum for cellular communication has been boosted by the announcement that Telefónica and Ericsson combined to demonstrate live delivery of LTE-U.

LTE-U uses the unlicensed 5 GHz spectrum, which is also used by wifi, so transmit LTE signals. It’s a controversial initiative as wifi stakeholders fear it will degrade wifi signals. Ericsson is already offering LTE-U commercially, via its Networks Software, in combination with licensed LTE spectrum. This trial used the Ericsson RBS 6402 indoor pico cell.

“With global data traffic growing exponentially, spectrum has become one of the world’s most valuable resources,” said Eric Parsons, Head of Mobile Broadband, 4G/5G Radio Access at Ericsson. “By enabling the use of unlicensed 5 GHz spectrum to boost peak data rates and capacity, LTE-U helps operators extract maximum value from their spectrum investments while bringing high-quality experiences to mobile broadband users everywhere.”

“This demonstration proves that multiple technologies will co-exist for best use of all spectrum and to support all deployment scenarios, widening the LTE ecosystem using the aggregation with licensed spectrum to provide the best performance experience,” said Angel Blazquez, Director of Radio and Core at Telefonica Spain.

In other unlicensed news SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics have joined forces to test 5G over 28 GHz in the outdoor environment. 5G over millimetre wave is getting an increasing amount of attention as companies try to work out how they’re going to deliver the kind of bandwidth that will be expected of 5G.

“This 5G field trial is one of the key milestones for the world’s first 5G commercialization,” said Cheun Kyung-whoon, Head of Communications Research at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung will prove the feasibility of key technologies with SK Telecom. This strategic collaboration will lead to the early adoption of 5G communications and provision of immersive service experience to end-users.”

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