China Mobile has teamed up with ZTE and Qualcomm to conduct a trial of three-carrier aggregation LTE-A over Cat 9 devices.
The companies have deployed a 3-CA LTE-A service in Guangzhou. Users with Cat 9 devices with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor are testing the network under real-world conditions.
The 3-CA network offers peak downlink rates of over 300Mbps. ZTE upgraded China Mobile's network in the region to support the device via an updatate to its software designed radio platform.
China Mobile and Qualcomm recently collaborated with Huawei to complete the first verification of TD-LTE inter-band three carrier aggregation. The new trial builds on this collaboration.
LTE-A is expected to help 4G network evolve to support 1Gbps downlink rates and 500Mbps uplink speeds, serving as a crucial stepping stone towards the 5G era.
ZTE separately announced that Chinese e-commerce player JD.com has chosen to stock the vendor's handsets as one of the first group of smartphones to be offered over its new Russian e-commerce platform.
ZTE expects smartphones sales in Russia to triple this year, and the company has increased its marketing investment in the region by 350% to accommodate this.
The first ZTE device to debut on JD's Russian e-commerce platform will be the Blade S6. It will be available for an asking price of $199.