While these days, all eyes are on 5G for the next big advance in communications development, the users are still working with 4G LTE—or less in some cases—and eager for advancement nonetheless. Recently, Nokia got together with Russian telecom firm MTS (News - Alert) to bolster 4G operations in Moscow, a development that's delivering some impressive results.
The duo have brought out frequency division duplex and time division duplex to yield FDD-TDD carrier aggregation, bringing a new power to the commercial LTE (News - Alert) network in Moscow. This first commercial deployment is bringing out amazing speeds, with some subscribers seeing data speeds reach 187 Mbps, a development that far surpasses top speeds seen on both FDD-LTE at 75 Mbps on a 10 MHz band and TD-LTE, which yielded 112 Mbps.
Using a combination of Nokia (News - Alert)'s Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station and appropriate software to drive the whole affair, the FDD-TDD carrier aggregation system could generate the speeds noted previously. When demonstrating the technology further, it was found that 25 MHz of spectrum was aggregated across several bands: the FDD 1800 at 10 MHz, the FDD 2600 at 10 MHz, and the FDD 800 at five MHz.
Following the testing, MTS' vice president and chief technology officer Andrey Ushatsky commented “We are continuously working to increase the quality and availability of our LTE services and cooperating with Nokia enables us to provide innovative and reliable services to our subscribers. Unique for Russia, FDD-TDD carrier aggregation functionality will let us increase average access speeds for flagship smartphones by 1.5-2 fold. This technology is important as its further implementation in Russia will help increase the efficiency of frequency resource use.”
While 5G is a terrific thing, and by all accounts well worth looking forward to, it's still around three years until the first commercial rollouts begin. We need to augment 4G as best we can to address the ever-growing demand for bandwidth that the market is generating or risk falling behind altogether. With streaming video, cloud-based applications and video conferencing only on the rise, we must have more bandwidth to allow all these developments to be put in place. Now is not the time for cries of poverty and insistence that only allowing users a certain amount of bandwidth every month is what's best for the network.
We need to expand, not contract, and as Google (News - Alert) Fiber has demonstrated several times, competitors can walk right into this market and run it with simple promises of truly unlimited data. Improving 4G with technology like FDD-TDD is a great start, as Moscow’s implementation demonstrates.
Edited by Peter Bernstein