Monday, February 23, 2015

T-Mobile US Looks to LTE-U in Nokia's Flexi Zone Small Cells

T-Mobile US plans to accelerate its deployment of Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) (also referred to as LTE-U).

At the upcoming Mobile World Congress, Nokia Networks will demonstrate the capabilities of LAA, using its award-winning Nokia Flexi Zone small cells technology, currently deployed by T-Mobile to enhance the mobile broadband capacity of its rapidly growing 4G LTE network. The demonstration will include carrier aggregation between LTE in licensed and unlicensed spectrum and the technology's co-existence with Wi-Fi.

Nokia said the 5 GHz frequency band, typically used for Wi-Fi today, can uniquely complement licensed LTE bands, while LTE can provide better spectrum efficiency than current technologies on that band. Additionally, LAA brings all of LTE's efficiencies and seamless mobility to the unlicensed band while ensuring smooth co-existence with Wi-Fi services. Carrier aggregation between LTE in licensed and unlicensed spectrum provides customers guaranteed service quality and boosts overall performance where needed.

LAA is planned for 3GPP industry standardization in mid-2016. Nokia Networks plans to integrate LAA capabilities into its small cell portfolio at the end of 2015.

"LAA is an attractive solution to tap the unused potential of the 5 GHz band to give our customers LTE efficiencies and smooth co-existence with Wi-Fi. Nokia Networks' early demo not only shows the next generation of small cells, but is a critical first step to staying ahead of the increasing LTE capacity demand. Our mission is giving our customers better mobile performance and capacity when and where they need it the most. This demo is a testament to Nokia's ability to innovate quickly and bring products to market when we need them," stated Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer, T-Mobile.

Ricky Corker, Executive Vice President of North America, Nokia Networks, said: "We're delighted to contribute to the standardization of this technology and, at the same time, innovate by building LAA readiness into our Flexi Zone small cell technology. Our demonstration proves Nokia Networks' ability to collaborate with industry innovators like T-Mobile to bring breakthrough technology quickly to market to address real world network challenges."