Huawei and DoCoMo Test LTE Services in the 5Ghz Spectrum Band
Japans’s NTT DoCoMo has demonstrated that LTE can be deployed over the 5GHz unlicensed spectrum, which is widely used for wireless LAN networks in many countries today.
In research carried out at a Huawei facility in Beijing since February 2014, DoCoMo and Huawei have been conducting experiments of Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA), a technology that expands LTE-compatible spectrum to unlicensed spectrum bands, thereby providing complementary access for the LTE operator network.
Currently, LTE’s compatible spectrum bands are licensed between the 700MHz and 2.5GHz bands in Japan.
The indoor test found that LAA can work in 5GHz bandwidth, leading to cell capacity of approximately 1.6 times greater than that of IEEE 802.11n, a standard specification for WLAN. This significant result was a positive indication that LAA can be utilized as an enhancement of LTE, and also LTE-A, which DoCoMo plans to launch by March 2015. For example, higher-speed data communications and a higher cell capacity in dense traffic areas should be achievable by utilizing the 5GHz spectrum for LTE and LTE-Advanced on a complementary basis in coexistence with wireless LAN.
The standardization of LAA is likely to be discussed later this year by 3GPP.