Ericsson (ERIC) and Qualcomm Demonstrate LTE-U in China

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EricssonERIC has allied with an operating arm of QUALCOMM Incorporated QCOM - Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. - for over-the-air demonstration of LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) in China. This demonstration is focused toward the companies' motive of driving the commercial launch of LTE-U.

Ericsson and Qualcomm demonstrated this breakthrough technology at PT/Expo Comm China 2015. For this, the firms put together a 20 MHz licensed component carrier (CC) and one 20 MHz CC (that runs on 5 GHz unlicensed spectrum), over the air, to generate a peak throughput of up to 300 Mbps. This was done via a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with X12 LTE. Also, Ericsson's second-generation indoor picocell base station - RBS 6402 - was used for the demonstration. RBS 6402 is equipped with multi-standard, multi-band capabilities and Wi-Fi support and can efficiently cater up to 5000 square meter size buildings.

LTE-U - An Insight

LTE-U, which is also known as LAA or licensed assisted access, refers to the use of LTE in 5GHz unlicensed spectrum bands. It utilizes a mix of licensed LTE spectrum and the 5GHz frequency band, which is mainly used for Wi-Fi service at present. Moreover, it offers higher capacity and coverage and hence, enhances user experience through a unified LTE network.

The deployment of LTE in unlicensed spectrum is intended to complement licensed spectrum deployments. Thus, by using carrier aggregation between LTE in licensed and unlicensed spectrums, operators can considerably augment connectivity as well as deliver data speeds over two times faster than LTE.

Why China?

China is one of the largest mobile markets in the world with over 1.2 billion in subscriptions so far. Per the June edition of Ericsson Mobility report, China had more than 8 million new mobile subscriptions, second only to India, in first-quarter 2015. Moreover, by 2020, China is anticipated to gain more than 400 million new mobile subscriptions. Notably, mainland China is expected to roll out LTE by 2020, with projected LTE subscription of more than 1.1 billion - about 30% of the world's total count.


Interestingly, the launch of LTE-U will further intensify Ericsson reputation as one of the leading supplier of LTE technology, globally. The company currently boasts a strong presence in high-traffic LTE markets like the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and Canada. At present, Ericsson serves around 40% of the global LTE Smartphone traffic. Furthermore, the company is expecting LTE subscriptions to total 3.7 billion by 2020.

However, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) firm needs to be wary of huge competition in this domain. Other telecom behemoths like T-Mobile US, Inc. TMUS and Alcatel-Lucent ALU are also working jointly to facilitate the expansion of LTE to unlicensed spectrum.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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