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Ericsson and MTN first LTE-U trial in Africa

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Ericsson and MTN have partnered to successfully trial LTE Unlicensed (LTE U), a mobile technology innovation that improves indoor app coverage for smartphone users, in South Africa.

The trial was completed by aggregating 10 MHz from 1800 with 20 MHz from 5 GHz band and showcasing throughput of more than 200 Mbps. This is the first time LTE-U has been trialed over the air in Africa.

LTE-U is an LTE capability that leverages the 5 GHz unlicensed band in combination with licensed spectrum to deliver a performance boost for mobile device users. The solution optimizes available wireless network resources, and improves app coverage for all users whether their devices are using LTE-U, licensed cellular or Wi-Fi. LTE-U is a key milestone on the road to 5G, leveraging a combination of licensed and unlicensed spectrum, and using higher frequency bands on a small cell architecture.

This deployment supports MTN's strategy to drive sustainable growth by driving growth in voice while developing new opportunities in data, enterprise, financial services and content.

Krishna Chetty, Acting Chief Technology Officer, MTN South Africa says: "This trial supports MTN's strategy to drive sustainable growth by driving growth in voice, while developing new opportunities in data, enterprise, financial services and content. This innovation shows that MTN is within the cutting edge of world developments."

"LTE-U is designed to take advantage of the capacity available in the unlicensed 5GHz band spectrum. Through aggregating licenced spectrum with unlicensed spectrum a bigger LTE carrier is created. The ability to aggregate spectrum is one of the primary benefits of LTE. Using this technology, MTN is able to combine its LTE spectrum with portions of the 5GHz spectrum band, to enable LTE- Unlicensed.

"The lack of critical high value spectrum has compelled MTN to combine existing licensed mobile spectrum with unlicensed 5GHz spectrum to cater for the rollout of new generation networks such as LTE-U."

The LTE-U solution showcases Carrier Sensing Adaptive Transmission (CSAT) capabilities for coexistence with Wi-Fi in accordance with the latest LTE-U Forum specifications, which have been designed to enable fair sharing of unlicensed spectrum with Wi-Fi.

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Tags: ericsson  mtn  lte-u  South Africa