Huawei Technologies, Vodafone Turkey and Qualcomm Technologies have collaborated to create the world’s first network using Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) technology, based on the 3GPP R13 standard, at the Vodafone Arena stadium in Istanbul. The LAA-ready network was tested using a Huawei Lampsite base station with 40MHz of unlicensed 5GHz band spectrum and 15MHz licensed 2.6GHz band spectrum for triple-carrier aggregation, achieving on-site peak download speed of 370Mbps via a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with X16 LTE mobile test device. The on-site test also showed that the spectral efficiency of LAA is higher than Wi-Fi when using the same 40MHz of spectrum, and that an LAA network can coexist with Wi-Fi technology by supporting the 3GPP R13 standard for ’listen before talk’ technology, a press release from Huawei said, adding that consumers can expect smartphones with support for LAA this year.
LAA technology extends the LTE system to unlicensed bands, which can help operators to improve the efficiency of unlicensed spectrum, improve network capacity of hotspots, and ease the shortage of spectrum resources. ‘Use of unlicensed spectrum will become an increasingly important part of technology strategy as we move towards Gigabit LTE and 5G and we have shown that LAA can deliver on those promises today,’ said Enrico Salvatori, president at Qualcomm EMEA.