Ericsson and Vodafone Ireland achieve 136 Mbps uplink on commercial network

Swedish networking giant Ericsson has teamed up with Vodafone Ireland to demonstrate what it claims are the fastest uplink speeds yet achieved in a European commercial network.

The demo used both carrier aggregation using LTE FDD 40 MHz (two 20 MHz carriers) and 64 QAM modulation to achieve uplink speeds of 136 Mbps on Vodafone Ireland’s commercial network. Ericsson says this represents double the current uplink performance. A third player in the demo was Qualcomm, via its Snapdragon 820 SoC, which includes the X12 LTE modem that supports Cat 13 uplink and 3×20 MHz carrier aggregation.

“LTE is a powerful mobile technology that is consistently evolving to meet growing demand from both smartphones users and, increasingly, the Internet of Things,” said Per Narvinger, Head of Radio Access Networks at Ericsson.

“By working with leading operators like Vodafone, Ericsson is able to quickly apply our software-based performance enhancements, like uplink carrier aggregation, in commercial networks, to ensure fast time-to-market. Operators increasingly differentiate themselves by improving the app coverage experience for their customers, so gaining the first-mover advantage on new features is critical.”

“Qualcomm, Ericsson and Vodafone have collaborated to greatly improve uplink speeds in Europe with carrier aggregation, and this is just one example how Qualcomm continues to lead the evolution of 4G LTE technology,” said Enrico Salvatori, President of Qualcomm Europe. “Now, consumers with a mobile device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with X12 LTE can utilize uplink enhancing technologies to upload content from their mobile devices up to three times faster, while also delivering improved functionality for users in the network.”

Ericsson seems to be getting increasingly chummy with Vodafone in the area of RAN R&D. Last week the two companies demonstrated a 5G proof of concept, while both of them announced their participation in a Dutch 5G test bed last month. The two have also teamed up to develop a lightweight radio unit and Ericsson upgraded Vodafone Netherlands’ core network earlier in the year.

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