Telstra has again demonstrated technology that will let lucky LTE users consume the entire 15 GB of its largest consumer post-paid broadband plan in less than 5 minutes.
A repeat of the May 2014 demonstration of the same speed in conjunction with Ericsson, the latest demo brought Qualcomm into the fold. Qualcomm provided the modem used in the test unit, an important detail since Ericsson quit the mobile modem biz in September.
The test strapped together spectrum in the 1800 MHz, 2600 MHz and 700 MHz bands, each with a single LTE 20 MHz carrier aggregated together to get 60 MHz. The Qualcomm Category 9 LTE-A modem talked to an Ericsson RBS 6000 base station over Telstra-owned spectrum.
The Telstra test happened a week after Ericsson and Qualcomm first demonstrated LTE Category 9 interoperability (Ericsson release here). The interop tests bring real-world deployments a little closer: all that's needed now is for mobe-makers to decide they're going to start putting the super-fast silicon into consumer devices.
It comes hard on the heels of Ericsson's separate announcement that it's going to work with IBM in developing antenna technology for the here-by-2020-if-nothing-goes-wrong 5G mobile market.
The two companies will be working together on phased array antenna designs. Phased arrays are an attractive proposition for base stations, since signals can be steered electronically. Instead of directionality being a characteristic of the antenna's shape, signals are directed by the way they combine or cancel depending on phase.
The aim of the research, Ericsson says, is to “integrate on the order of a hundred antennas and radios on a single chip smaller than a credit card in size”. ®