Qualcomm Technologies Inc. and SK Telecom is conducting the first over-the-air technology demonstration of eLAA (Enhanced Licensed Assisted Access) and LAA (Licensed Assisted Access) at SK Telecom‘s corporate research and development center in Bundang, Korea. The demo uses 2.6GHz licensed spectrum and 5GHz unlicensed spectrum.
According to Qualcomm, the technology is capable of creating enhanced capacity as it aggregates both licensed and unlicensed spectrum creating a broader data pipe in both uplink and downlink directions. LAA, on the other hand, uses unlicensed spectrum and boost data speed only in the downlink direction.
In order to examine the coexistence, a few of the Wi-Fi users on the network were switched from Wi-Fi to LAA/eLAA while others remained on Wi-Fi. The trial demonstrated that the users that remained on Wi-Fi were unaffected by those that switched to LAA/eLAA, providing evidence that the LAA/eLAA shares the unlicensed spectrum fairly with Wi-Fi. This sharing mechanism used by LAA/eLAA is called listen-before-talk (LBT). In the demonstration, LAA and eLAA achieved 2X capacity in 5 GHz than the Wi-Fi only baseline, said a release from Qualcomm.
Commenting on the new technology, Eduardo Esteves, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies said, “This trial aims to demonstrate the fair and harmonious coexistence of LAA with Wi-Fi in unlicensed spectrum. This is also a manifestation of Qualcomm Technologies’ and SK Telecom’s leadership in leveraging the latest technologies to improve the user experience.”
Jin Hyo Park, head of network technology at SK Telecom said, “A flexible combination between licensed and unlicensed spectrum is necessary to enable high-quality massive 5G service. We will lead the network innovation towards LTE-A Pro and 5G including combining licensed and unlicensed spectrum technologies such as eLAA and MPTCP.”
In June 2015, SK Telecom launched a ‘Band LTE Wi-Fi’ service based on Multi-Path Transmission Control Protocol (MPTCP) technology. Under this technology, the LTE, and Wi-Fi traffic will provide a downlink rates up to 1.17Gbps. With the success of combining eLAA, SK Telecom gets two technologies to combine unlicensed spectrum with existing LTE spectrum. In addition to MPTCP and eLAA, SK Telecom is also focusing on LTE-Advanced Pro technology development based on new frequency bands to deliver faster data rate.