LTE Advanced

Qualcomm and SKT claim ‘enhanced’ LTE-LAA

Before the 5 GHz LTE technology is even commercial, it has a ‘road to 5G’, while claiming harmonious coexistence with WiFi

Qualcomm and SK Telecom are never shy of pushing a technology to its limits, and claiming ‘world firsts’ in the process. The two companies are trialling ‘Enhanced LAA’ (eLAA), even before there are any commercial implementations of the LTE-LAA (Licensed Assisted Access) technology, which supports 4G supplemental downlink in unlicensed spectrum.

The companies were engaged in one of the growing number of tests to demonstrate happy coexistence of unlicensed spectrum LTE technologies with WiFi, and the enhanced aspect appears to come from various additions designed to support a migration path to 5G in future.

Some users in the trial were transferred to LTE-LAA or eLAA while others remained n WiFi. According to the partners’ statements “the trial demonstrated that the users that remained on WiFi were unaffected by those that switched to LAA/eLAA. This effectively demonstrates that LAA/eLAA shares the unlicensed spectrum fairly with WiFi.”

They added that LAA and eLAA were shown, in multiple test cases, to achieve 2X capacity in 5 GHz compared to the WiFi-only baseline.

“A flexible combination between licensed and unlicensed spectrum is necessary to enable high quality massive 5G service,” said Jin Hyo Park, head of network technology at SK Telecom. “We will lead network innovation towards LTE-A Pro and 5G including combining licensed and unlicensed spectrum technologies such as eLAA and MPTCP.”

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