Future Networks: Telefónica, Huawei Extend Evolution of LTE Networks

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Telefónica and Huawei have agreed on 4.5G evolution with first deployments in Bogotá, Monterrey and Rio de Janeiro. In this evolution to 4.5G, Telefónica is introducing 4×4 MIMO, 3x Carrier Aggregation (CA), 256-QAM and CloudAIR (Huawei’s proprietary technology) into its networks.

With the increasing popularity of mobile video and online real-time gaming services, Telefónica smartphone data traffic keeps growing at a very fast pace.

The 4.5G Evolution in the dense areas of these cities, which are flooded with massive amounts of data, will enhance mobile network capacity and performance, offering the ultimate user experience. With 4.5G Evolution, a downlink peak throughput up to 1Gbps can be achieved in the commercial network.

Together with Huawei, Telefónica plans to assess on 4.5G network technology firstly in the next few months within these selected cities to later consider 4.5G Evolution as well in other countries in 2018.

Juan Carlos García, Technology and Architecture Global Director at Telefónica, is confident in the abilities of the 4.5G Evolution. He said, “4.5G Evolution is a key step on the road to 5G. In the past two years, Telefónica and Huawei jointly achieved several industry first innovations under these technologies. Now it’s time to transfer the innovation results to commercial, bringing the best user experience to our customers.”

In order to test applications for the future 5G network today, Telefónica Deutschland and Huawei have implemented in Germany a 4.5G high-speed mobile radio network as part of their joint TechCity project, which achieves data rates of up to 1.65 GBit/s under laboratory conditions. For the field tests, the two companies have set up a 4.5G pilot network in Munich.

Besides the end user experience improvement, 4.5G Evolution will also enable new mobile services for Telefónica, such as HD video, WTTx, cellular IoT, critical communications as well as other new mobile services.

Edward Deng, President of Telefónica Global Account of Huawei, said “4.5G Evolution helps Telefónica enhance its businesses by introducing 5G technologies into existing LTE networks. The 5G-like services and the new business models that 5G will support can be quickly launched and developed”.

New technologies of 4.5G Evolution, such as 4×4 MIMO, Carrier Aggregation, and 256 QAM, effectively improve network capacity. Specifically, 4×4 MIMO improves capacity, coverage and user experience without additional spectrum or base stations.

Meanwhile, CloudAIR offers spectrum cloudification to allow different radio access technologies to share spectrum resources dynamically, which allows a smooth network evolution. 4.5G Evolution will improve the MBB businesses today while keeping them on the road to a successful transition to 5G tomorrow.