Tuesday, June 27, 2017

SFR and Huawei trial 4 x 4 MIMO enabling 628 Mbit/s

French telecom operator SFR and Huawei announced the completion of what is believed to be France's first pre-commercial field verification of 4 x 4 MIMO enabling a downlink throughput of 628.3 Mbit/s using a commercially available phone on SFR's 4.5G network.

Following the field verification, SFR plans to increase its investment in LTE technology as part of its objective of rolling out the fastest LTE network in France and provide customers an enhanced LTE experience.

Huawei noted that SFR began construction of its LTE network in 2012, and subsequently the increasing adoption of mobile video and real-time gaming services has led to mobile data traffic increasing at an average annual growth rate of up to 100% over the past two years. To address this rising demand, SFR launched a new unlimited data package in April this year and plans to focus investment on deploying a 4.5G network.

SFR is aiming to extend its 4.5G network coverage to 90% of its customers in France by the end of the year, and plans to increase this to 99% during 2018. Huawei noted that 4.5G technologies such as carrier aggregation (CA), MIMO and 256QAM can help increase network capacity, with MIMO, in particular enabling improved capacity and coverage, as well as an enhanced user experience, without the need for additional spectrum or base stations.

During the recent tests with SFR that involved a commercial phone operating on the live 4.5G network, the partners verified that the use of 4 x 4 MIMO, combined with 2 CC carrier aggregation and 256QAM modulation, can deliver throughput of up to 628.3 Mbit/s. Huawei noted that this data rate can allow mobile users to play HD video reliably and meet customer demand for smooth video viewing services.

Huawei stated that 4.5G Evolution technology enables operators to begin the introduction of 5G technologies into their existing 4G/LTE networks. This also allows operators to trial 5G-like services and develop new business models that 5G will be able to support in the future.


Regarding the trial, Michel Paulin, chairman and CEO of SFR Group, commented, "SFR's 4.5G network has achieved an average downlink throughput of 300 Mbit/s in over French 221 cities… and it (aims to) further increase the average downlink throughput to 500 Mbit/s by 2018… and will actively promote sophisticated 4 x 4 MIMO smartphones to offer users the best LTE experience".

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