Optus launches world’s first LTE TDD Advanced CA network

Australian mobile operator Optus launch the world’s first deployment of Carrier Aggregation (CA) technology on a live commercial LTE TDD network with speeds hitting more than 160 Mbps.

The live deployment has been rolled out across a number Optus’ “4G Plus” sites in Melbourne, and follows an earlier trial of CA and other advanced technologies which saw speeds hit over 500 Mbps on LTE TDD.

“Carrier Aggregation is an LTE-Advanced technology which combines multiple spectrum bands – it’s the technological equivalent adding extra lanes to a highway, allowing for higher-speed data traffic,” said Peter Rossi, CTO, Huawei Australia.

“This project adds to Huawei’s long list of world-first technology breakthroughs. By combining two or more channels or ‘carriers’ on existing live commercial LTE spectrum bands, Optus can dramatically increase throughput on its mobile data network,” added Rossi.

The CA deployment combines two 20 MHz carriers on Optus’ 2300 MHz 4G Plus spectrum. Initial tests have already shown speeds of above 160 Mbps on a single device.

“Introducing LTE carrier aggregation into a live, commercial TD-LTE network is a world first and an exciting technology innovation for us,” said Vic McClelland, managing director, Optus Networks.

“What’s more exciting is that Optus customers will soon be able to experience the faster speeds and greater capacity our 4G Plus network and carrier aggregation can provide. With Australians becoming increasingly mobile data hungry, this innovation puts Optus in a great position to provide the network capacity needed to handle this growing data demand,” added McClelland.

Additional CA tests have been conducted by Huawei and Optus in St Marys, west of Sydney, combining four 20 MHz carriers for a total of 80 MHz on the 2300 MHz band to deliver mobile broadband speeds of over 520 Mbps.

Optus expects to launch mobile broadband devices compatible with CA (known as Cat-6 TD-LTE) in 2014.

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