HKT and Huawei have successfully demonstrated an IP-RAN based LTE-A 450Mbps solution (3 FDD Carrier Aggregation) in Hong Kong. Last week, HKT and Huawei achieved a peak download rate of 440 Mbps in a live test of three component carrier (3CC) inter-site LTE-A carrier aggregation (CA) across three 20MHz spectrum blocks using an IP Radio Access Network (IP-RAN) based solution.
HKT is rolling out its LTE-A 450Mbps network using this IP-RAN based solution, and expects the network to be commercialized with compatible smartphones by 2016. This will bring a dramatically improved Internet experience to Hong Kong mobile users, enabling faster downloads, enhanced audio and video streaming, and more reliable video conferencing.
CA technology allows the combined use of fragmented spectrum resources to increase data throughput where implementations today require that the fragmented spectrum resources be hosted by the same cell site. However, many commercial CA networks today have coverage holes due to coverage differences between LTE cell sites using different spectrums, thus imposing difficulty of combining LTE carriers on different spectrums for CA realization, which in turn disrupts the user experience. To solve this problem, Huawei is offering inter-site CA solution which is able to combine carriers from more than one cell site to maximize the CA coverage area.
By the end of 2014, there were 49 LTE-A commercial networks globally. More than 100 LTE-A commercial networks are expected to be in use by the end of 2015.