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Singaporean telecom provider Singtel and Ericsson achieved an Asia-Pacific first in wireless technology by delivering a peak speed of 1.1Gbps in a joint trial of a new configuration of Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology.

Conducted in a Singtel laboratory, the trial delivered speeds that breached the 1Gbps barrier by combining several key LTE technologies including 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO, and aggregating two licensed and three unlicensed spectrum bands on a TM500 Test System device.

“We are very encouraged by this breakthrough in peak speeds,” said Mark Chong, Singtel’s Group Chief Technology Officer. “In Singapore, a large percentage of mobile traffic is generated indoors with more mobile customers browsing the web, streaming video and accessing cloud applications on the go.”

Chong added, “We are now in a position to deploy LAA technology to boost our LTE mobile capacity to meet increasing traffic demand. This will allow us to deliver a faster and more reliable mobile connectivity experience even during peak periods.” 

The unique 12-layered LAA configuration used in the trial will provide 2 to 3 times faster than prevailing peak LTE speeds, resulting in enhanced user experience, especially in high traffic indoor environments such as shopping malls.  Following this successful trial, Singtel will explore the feasibility to deploy the technology on Singtel’s network.  

This latest breakthrough extends the partnership of Singtel and Ericsson in 4.5G LTE and trialing 5G in Singapore. Earlier this year, high download speeds of up to 800Mbps were achieved on Singtel’s high-performance LTE network by deploying 256 QAM downlink, 4x4 MIMO and triple carrier aggregation techniques. In October 2017, the partners jointly established a 5G Centre of Excellence to facilitate 5G development in Singapore.

“Licensed Assisted Access took wireless technology to a whole new level, delivering the increased capacity and faster speeds that operators demand as they evolve their networks,” said Martin Wiktorin, Head for Ericsson Singapore, Brunei & the Philippines. “This trial is a significant milestone in the use of LAA, pushing the limits of Gigabit LTE in a unique configuration of advanced technologies.”