Buzz building around LTE-Advanced

Caroline Gabriel/Wireless Watch
15 May 2012

Huawei is seeking to steal the thunder from its rivals' showcases by boasting of tests on commercial networks, of LTE-A in Sweden and of the next generation of devices, supporting LTE Category 4.

The Chinese vendor has left behind its former “cheap and cheerful” image and is investing heavily in LTE-related R&D, to keep itself at the cutting edge of carrier technology.

This week it announced that it had carried out tests of LTE-Advanced with Tele2 and Telenor in Sweden, achieving speeds of 290Mbps in the 2.6-GHz band. Future versions of LTE-A will reach peaks of 1Gbps, making it a “true 4G” standard, and Tele2 aims to upgrade its current 4G network from next year. Other operators aiming to kick off LTE-A deployment as early as 2013 include AT&T, T-Mobile and potentially Dish in the US.

Huawei also announced that it had carried out the first successful field trial of a device supporting LTE Category 4, which boosts downlink speed to 150Mbps, on an unnnamed commercial LTE network in Europe. The device was based on a multimode chipset supporting LTE Release 9 from Huawei's HiSilicon unit, which the vendor also says is an industry first.

“This commercial trial not only proves Huawei to be the world's first vendor to support end-to-end LTE Category 4 solutions, but also consolidates Huawei's leadership in LTE technology innovation,” said Ying Weimin, the firm's president for GSM, UMTS and LTE networks.

Huawei is building on a string of LTE tests and trials with which it has showed off its advances this year. At Mobile World Congress in February, it demonstrated LTE-Advanced inter-band carrier aggregation, and looked ahead to its “Beyond LTE” technology, which claims it will be able to reach peak rates of up to 30Gbps per site in future.

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