Africa just got its first maiden test of the mighty supersonic 4.5G network. Following a joint mission by Huawei and Vodacom South Africa where the two aggregated LTE in both licensed and unlicensed bands using the Huawei LampSite solution.
The project attained a peak data transfer speed of up to 1Gbps, and therefore becoming Africa first fasted network to hit such speeds. At the same time, this achieved network became the first 3 component carrier test ever to be experienced in Africa and thereby showcasing the milestone of a 4.5G network.
Additionally, another live trial was successfully done using the co-existence of LTE in an unlicensed band in open public places like Vodacom World’s conference venues and Sandton City shopping mall. They were targeting areas where Wi-Fi use is already in wide scale and the spectrum fairly shared by many different technologies.
As Africa Business Communities explains: “The deployed network has a natural evolution path and can be software upgraded to a fully LBT (Listen Before Talk) compliant solution, known as LAA (License Assisted Access), which will be finalized in the 3GPP Release 13 specifications. Standard LAA within the 3GPP standards process will ensure fair share use among the multiple users and technologies (e.g. Wi-Fi) that access the unlicensed bands.
For this public trial demonstrating LTE in unlicensed co-existence, Huawei worked with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to use a test mobile device based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 processor with X12 LTE for the live network trial. Commercial mobile devices are expected to be released by manufacturers towards the 2nd half of the year.
Huawei believes that LAA is an innovative way to maximize the efficiency of unlicensed spectrum and enables better user experience.”