Ericsson, Qualcomm demonstrate LTE-U in China

25 Sep 2015

Ericsson and Qualcomm have teamed up to demonstrate LTE-Unlicensed technology at an exhibition in China, achieving peak data rates of 300 Mbps.

The companies used PT/Expo Comm China 2015 to showcase the aggregation of one 20 MHz licensed LTE carrier with a 20 MHz carrier running on 5-GHz unlicensed spectrum.

The demonstration used an Ericsson indoor picocell base station and a device using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor.

Unlicensed spectrum is currently mainly used by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices. But the telecom industry is increasingly exploring the use of the airwaves to overcome the issue of limited licensed LTE spectrum and address swelling demand for 4G data.

Combining licensed and unlicensed LTE spectrum will allow operators to provide a full mobile experience while augmenting capacity, particularly in indoor areas.

The biggest hurdle to the commercialization of LTE-U is opposition from the Wi-Fi ecosystem due to concerns over interference.

But Ericsson said its LTE-U equipment incorporates spectrum fair sharing, a technology designed to dynamically sense potential interference in the neighboring environment and increase or reduce the use of unlicensed carriers to accommodate this.

Ericsson and Qualcomm first collaborated to demonstrate LTE-U technology in February. The initial demonstration achieved peak data rates of 450Mbps. LG U+ meanwhile achieved speeds of 600Mbps during its own trial of unlicensed spectrum in the 5.8-GHz band.

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