BT and Ericsson wideband FDD trial enhances 5G Standalone performance in European first

BT and Ericsson wideband FDD trial enhances 5G Standalone performance in European first

BT and Ericsson have set a European precedent by successfully transmitting 5G services with a wideband FDD radio carrier in a sub-3 GHz spectrum band.

The groundbreaking trial showcased the benefits of using a wide carrier bandwidth of 50MHz in EE’s 2.6GHz band and combining downlink aggregation with two TDD carriers in EE’s 3.5GHz band. An intermediate carrier bandwidth of 30MHz was also evaluated.

The trial took place on BT’s live network in Bristol and Potters Bar. It utilised existing Ericsson commercial hardware, Baseband 6648 and Radio 4419 and activated the software feature ‘Large Bandwidth Support Low-Band’. Testing involved MediaTek Dimensity-powered handsets equipped with an integrated MediaTek M80 Release-16 modem. The results showed a capacity uplift of more than three times using a single FDD carrier, particularly meaningful for the uplink in 5G Standalone, which currently relies on a single carrier.

This success is vital for the further expansion of 5G in FDD bands and sets the stage for the arrival of EE’s upcoming 5G Standalone mobile network. 5G SA will soon offer enhanced experiences for consumers and businesses, meeting the increasing demand for data driven by Cloud Gaming, VR and emerging Edge Computing technologies.

Greg McCall, Chief Networks Officer at BT Group, commented: “This breakthrough is the latest example of our commitment to maximising the full potential of 5G for our customers. As network quality and accessibility improve, so too will innovation and the 5G services ecosystem. Demonstrating new network capabilities like those announced is critical to achieving this goal and also paves the way to ensuring that 5G SA delivers new possibilities for our customers.”

Evangelia Tzifa, Chief Technology Officer for Networks and Managed Services at Ericsson UK and Ireland, said: “This is a great step forward for the deployment of 5G Standalone for EE in the UK. Ericsson’s innovative software capabilities such as large bandwidths for NR FDD as well as NR Carrier Aggregation enable a solid foundation for improved end-user experience and network performance. This is a fundamental link for business success and the evolution to next-generation connectivity across the country.”

Dr Ho-Chi Hwang, General Manager of Wireless Communication Systems and Partnerships at MediaTek, said: “This remarkable achievement of boosting uplink capacity is a fundamental step for the evolution from 5G Non-Standalone to 5G Standalone networks. By supporting an uplink connection in a single FDD carrier with a wider bandwidth, MediaTek Dimensity 5G chipsets already meet the surging demand for uplink data in a new era of mobile applications.”

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