Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Telefónica Deploys 2.6 GHz LTE at MWC with ALU's LightRadio

On the eve of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Telefónica activated an LTE network using the 2.6Ghz frequency band and small cell architecture. Download performance is rated at 100 Mbps with uploads ranging between 40-60Mbps. Telefónica said each cell in its LTE network can comfortably support 30 people browsing simultaneously with average speed of 30Mbps. Telefónica also expects to see vastly improved indoor coverage and can increase capacity by up to 400 per cent in high density data-traffic areas.

In a press conference with partners Alcatel-Lucent and Samsung, Enrique Blanco, Telefónica's Chief Technology Officer stated 'Today the future of mobile networks begins. The deployment of LTE that Telefónica has brought to the MWC, together with Alcatel -Lucent, gives us a glimpse of a tomorrow where everyone and everything is seamlessly connected, and in superfast time. But the challenge ahead is to ensure that all the technologies currently being deployed – 2G, 3G, LTE, Wi-Fi and Fiber – can co-exist to deliver next generation communications. Telefónica's strategy is to develop intelligent networks that allow these different technologies to co-exist efficiently and cover customers' growing connectivity needs in markets that are at different stages of development."

Telefónica's network is using Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio technology, allowing conventional radio base stations co-exist with 4G metro cells (small base stations incorporating antennas and radio) working on the same frequency and with no interference. As a strong supporter for Telefonica's LTE service initiative, Samsung is also presenting the first LTE smart mobile devices for band 7 (2.6Ghz), GALAXY S II LTE smartphone and GALAXY Tab 8.9 LTE tablet, which can be used on this new high-capacity network.

Wim Sweldens, President of Alcatel-Lucent's Wireless Division said: 'This close collaboration with Telefónica through our co-creation programme is a clear articulation of the future of mobile broadband – rather than merely evolving their current architecture, which was designed for voice and messaging, Telefónica is making fast progress toward building a mobile broadband network designed with the future in mind. The wireless network of the future needs to be lighter, greener and closer to customers and deliver much higher capacity - that is what lightRadio is all about'.