This blog is by Arne Schaelicke at Nokia Networks.
“Rome” in the context of our industry refers to faster mobile broadband. And, as with the great city, there are many ways to get there with multiple options in LTE-Advanced radio access. You can build a multi-lane highway in the frequency domain by using Carrier Aggregation. Or you can build multiple lanes on the air interface by implementing higher multiple input multiple output (MIMO) antenna schemes. Or, you can opt to fit more passengers in the vehicle by increasing the modulation scheme.Or better still, you can do what Ooredoo recently did in Doha, Qatar, and combine these speed boosters. Utilizing Carrier Aggregation, they combined three carriers with a total of 60 MHz and higher order modulation 256QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) on a Nokia Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station. This allowed Ooredoo’s Supernet LTE-Advanced network to reduce download times of large files such as videos by half.
While Carrier Aggregation of 60 MHz with 64QAM, the previously highest modulation scheme, delivers up to 450 Mbps, the switch to 256QAM in good radio conditions provides an additional 30% speed boost, leading to about 590 Mbps downlink peak data rates, which is close to the maximum downlink throughput of 600 Mbps that the next generation of LTE-Advanced devices, so-called Cat. 11 devices, can receive.
The road chosen has special appeal to many operators, which have acquired LTE spectrum and rolled out their networks on three bands, but need to wait for the next frequency auctions before being able to scale up in the frequency domain. The unique advantage of 256QAM is that it doesn’t require additional spectrum or antennas.
For Ooredoo, this technology test with Nokia Networks is an important milestone. It marks another first by the operator in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region as Waleed Al Sayed, Chief Operating Officer, Ooredoo Qatar, points out:
“The next generation of mobile networks will provide the foundations for the smart city environments of the future and ensure we are fully ready for 5G, which is why we’re working with our partners to push the top speed and capacity limits.”
See also these press releases:
Nokia Networks scales up LTE-Advanced for dense networks #MWC15
Ooredoo Achieves Speeds of Close to 600 Mbps on Ooredoo Supernet
Ooredoo Group signs five-year framework agreement with Nokia for advanced mobile broadband network
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