MTS is the first operator in Eastern Europe to launch a commercial broadband Gigabit Class LTE network with LAA technology in the Republic of Bashkortostan. The network showed downlink speeds of up to 979 Mbps thanks to the aggregation of licensed and unlicensed spectrum. These incredible Gigabit Class LAA download speeds in Russia were demonstrated during the trial held in Ufa-based Planet shopping outlet on a segment of MTS’ commercial network, supported by Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated.
The LAA (License Assisted Access) technology will be used in the future 5G networks to ensure increased data throughput and network capacity. The solution demonstrates how an LTE base station and end device can operate using licensed spectrum frequencies owned by a carrier and unlicensed spectrum simultaneously in the 5 GHz band. In order to allow for fair coexistence with Wi-Fi devices, the LTE base station performs Listen-Before-Talk (LBT).
A commercial LAA network in Ufa has been designed by aggregating a 20 MHz band in the 1800 MHz licensed LTE spectrum (4x4 MIMO, 256-QAM) and three 20 MHz bands (2x2 MIMO, 256-QAM) in the 5 GHz unlicensed spectrum. The installation in the Planeta shopping outlet is built on Ericsson’s ERS indoor small cell stations using 1800 (2212) and LAA (2205) broadband radio modules, while Motorola Moto Z2 Force smartphone powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 Mobile Platform was used as smartphone. The Snapdragon 835 integrates X16 LTE modem, the first commercial modem supporting the LAA technology. The configuration yielded downlink speeds of 979 Mbps.
Andrey Ushatsky, Vice President, Technology and IT, MTS, commented, "With the launch of the commercial high speed LAA-network in Bashkortostan, in cooperation with Ericsson and Qualcomm, MTS again confirms its status of a technological leader. This is the first LAA-network in Russia and Eastern Europe. This technology is an important milestone on the way to 5G as it will be used in next-generation networks to instantly download “heavy” files, Ultra HD video, VR and AR services, and cloud-based video games. In addition, LAA will allow us to build gigabit networks quickly and cost-effectively in places with active traffic consumption, where operators do not always have enough available frequencies in the licensed spectrum.”
Sebastian Tolstoy, President, Ericsson (Russia), commented, “LAA offers mobile operators access to additional spectrum resources, increases network capacity and provides higher peak and median data rates. The launch of the first commercial LAA network in Russia marks another important milestone in our strategic cooperation with MTS. Last year, out joint technology trial enabled us to achieve record data rates of 25 Gbps. Our next step is to showcase 5G capabilities during this year’s main sports event in Russia.”
Yulia Klebanova, Vice President of business development, Qualcomm Europe, Inc., commented, "This important LAA technology milestone marks a new phase of the effective long-term cooperation between Qualcomm Technologies and MTS. We are happy to see Gigabit Class LTE network services becoming available to MTS subscribers in this country. Gigabit LTE can help operators increase network throughput and achieve higher spectral efficiency, providing incredible network speeds to users of mobile devices powered by the Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform with an integrated X16 LTE modem supporting LAA, whilst contributing to higher link throughput to those who use previous generation smartphones. We expect that with gradual LAA deployment across Russia and more LAA-supporting devices available in retail stores, a higher number of MTS subscribers will get access to higher connection speeds.”
The launch of the LAA technology on a commercial network signifies the next milestone of the partnership between MTS and Ericsson outlined in the 5G Technology Development Agreement signed in December 2015 by both companies. In July 2016, MTS successfully ran the first testing of LAA technology in Russia.