The Telekom Austria Group has come a big step closer to achieving its goal of implementing fifth generation mobile technology 5G by 2020. At a demonstration by the subsidiary A1 Slovenija, the Group once more successfully proved its technological leadership. At a press conference attended by scores of journalists data transfer rates of 850 Mbit/s were achieved, that is one of the fastest live LTE networks currently available in Europe.
"Within the framework of our 5G cooperation with Nokia, we, together with A1 Slovenija, have reached another milestone on the road to 5th generation mobile communications. During the trial we successfully simulated the future demands on 5G networks and connectivity with one of the fastest transmission rates ever achieved in Europe of 850 Megabit per second" said Sascha Zabransky, Director Group Technology & Future Services, Telekom Austria Group.
The test took place on the premises of A1 Slovenija in Ljubljana, where a top speed of 877.5 Mbit/s was achieved in the Slovenian A1 LTE network. This data transfer rate was made possible by the successful implementation of multi-component downlink carrier aggregation functions in the downlink. To achieve this high downlink throughput in a live network in contrast to a lab setting, a total of 55 MHz of the Slovenian A1 frequency spectrum was used - 35 MHz on band 7 (2600 MHz) and 20 MHz on band 3 (1800 MHz). The frequency band 7 was additionally supported with 4x4 MIMO in the downlink, while the 256QAM modulation coding scheme was introduced on both frequencies, which boosted the maximum peak data rate by an additional 30%.
As the next step toward 5G it is the Telekom Austria Group's expressed goal to increase the peak data rates at its subsidiaries by further technical innovations such as Massive MIMO, beam forming and beam steering.
"Since its launch more than 18 years ago A1 Slovenija has enjoyed a reputation as a technological pioneer on the Slovenian market. Data traffic in the Slovenian A1 network is growing daily, having doubled in 2016 and it is currently growing by 15 percent per month. Today's demonstration impressively shows that we are improving and simplifying the lives of our customers in the digital age by developing state-of-the-art network technologies. These will satisfy existing and future customer needs also at higher speeds", said Dejan Turk, CEO A1 Slovenija.
This optimal utilization of frequency spectrum in the A1 LTE network has been achieved in cooperation with Nokia as technology partner. "With this 4.5G PRO demonstration, utilizing our 5G-ready AirScale platform, Nokia and A1 Slovenija reached a milestone on the way towards 5G. With speeds above 850 Mbit/s, we are approaching a Gigabit society, where mobile networks will be providing fiber-like speeds close to 1 Gigabit per second. Near-Gigabit speeds will enable users already today to download videos in seconds and enable new use cases like connected cars, smart home applications or connected industry scenarios" said Peter Wukowits, Country Senior Officer and Head of Central Europe at Nokia.
The Telekom Austria Group is a member of the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance (NGMN) so that it can play an active role in the standardisation of 5G networks. The NGMN is an international alliance of operators, manufacturers and research institutes that promotes and guides the development of future mobile broadband technologies with a particular focus on 5G.