SmarTone completes license assisted access trial

SmarTone completes license assisted access trialSmarTone has completed a trial of license assisted access (LAA) technology over a live network using equipment from Ericsson.

LAA technology involves combining licensed radio spectrum with unlicensed airwaves to improve both speed and capacity.

The trial combined 10 MHz of licensed LTE spectrum with three 20MHz carriers of unlicensed 5-GHz spectrum to achieve download speeds of around 800Mbps. It used a Qualcomm Snapdragon LTE mobile test device and Ericsson micro radio technology.

“SmarTone is very pleased to have completed the first LAA trial in Hong Kong.  LAA is an important technological evolution that can combine licensed and unlicensed spectrum to provide LTE service. It will be widely adopted in the US and European markets in the near future,” SmarTone CTO Stephen Chau said.

“We are very excited that with the support of Ericsson, our long-term technology partner, SmarTone has once again brought a ground breaking technology to mobile users in Hong Kong and taken a great step further toward 5G.”

The LAA standard is expected to be enhanced next year to enable download speeds of over 1Gbps by adding support for five component carrier aggregation, according to Ericsson president for Hong Kong and Macau Petra Schirren.

“LAA is a key evolution of mobile technology and we are pleased to be first in Hong Kong together with SmarTone to demonstrate the increased capacity, improved speeds and enhanced user experience through the combination of licensed and unlicensed spectrum. Through the introduction of advanced technologies, such as LAA, we enable Gigabit Class LTE on the road to 5G”.

SmarTone and Ericsson entered a pre-5G collaboration in the fourth quarter of last year.