For the first time in Africa, Ericsson, together with Angola’s leading telecommunications provider Unitel, has successfully demonstrated LTE Advanced (LTE-A) Carrier Aggregation technology. The demonstration was done on both 1800MHz and 900MHz spectrum bands on a commercial network, using a commercial terminal, and took place on December 18, when Unitel transferred data across its live network in Luanda, Angola, carrying commercial traffic.
LTE Carrier Aggregation is the next step in the evolution of high-speed mobile broadband services, enabling operators to make the most of their existing spectrum assets by combining multiple spectrum bands to enable higher mobile broadband download speeds.
Amilcar Safeca, Deputy CEO of Unitel, says: “Unitel is always innovating to enhance the customer experience. With the global leap toward higher data access speeds for sophisticated video and mobility services, we are enhancing our network to ensure we continually provide high-quality services to our high-demanding subscriber base. With this demo, we are well on the way to launching the most advanced mobile network in Angola and perhaps Africa in the near future. We are working with Ericsson to make this happen.”
Magnus Mchunguzi, Vice President, Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa, says: “Using LTE-A technology, operators can increase their network capacity and enhance the mobile broadband user experience, enabling up to 1Gbps data rates in the future. This demo places Unitel on the very limited list of operators in the world to demonstrate LTE-A in a live network using a commercial terminal. We are very proud to have partnered with Unitel in this achievement, further extending our long-standing relationship with Unitel.”
Across the region and the globe, many operators have cleared spectrum in the 1800MHz and 900MHz bands as they migrate subscribers from 2G to 3G or 4G. Ericsson is also supporting the deployment of LTE-A Carrier Aggregation on other spectrum bands in countries such as Australia, Portugal and South Korea.
Ericsson is the market leader in LTE. Today, approximately 50 percent of the world’s LTE smartphone traffic is handled by Ericsson networks, which is more than double the traffic of our closest competitor. More than 180 LTE RAN and Evolved Packet Core networks have been delivered worldwide, of which more than 110 have gone live commercially. Ericsson is present today in all high-traffic LTE markets including Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea and the US, and has been selected by the top 10 LTE operators, ranked in terms of worldwide LTE subscriptions. We expect to hold 25 percent of all essential patents in LTE, covering both TDD and FDD mode, and we support common hardware and software for FDD and TDD systems, giving operators maximum flexibility in their FDD and TDD deployments.