Singtel, Singapore’s largest mobile operator, achieved a peak download speed of 1Gb/s in a trial using Sweden-based Ericsson’s quad-band FDD/TD carrier aggregation (CA) technology.
The operator said the technology will allow it to optimise newly acquired 2.5GHz spectrum and it plans to progressively deploy it in high traffic areas across the city state, such as Orchard Road, Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar and Clarke Quay. Handsets supporting gigabit speeds offered by quad-band FDD/TD CA are expected to be available from the second half of 2018.
Singtel CTO Mark Chong said as the world prepares for the 5G era, the operator is leveraging its spectrum assets and the latest advancements in mobile technology to optimise its network usage.
Martin Wiktorin, country manager for Ericsson Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines, said: “Singtel and Ericsson have a common goal of delivering the best mobile network in Singapore by seamlessly combining both FDD and TDD technologies in one 4G LTE network.”
In Singapore’s spectrum auction in April 2017, Singtel spent SGD563.7 million ($426 million) for 75MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 2.5GHz bands.
The companies aggregated two licensed and three unlicensed spectrum bands in a joint trial in December 2017, delivering a peak download speed of 1.1Gb/s. The lab trial used Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology in a 12-layer configuration which Singtel said will enable peak data rates of two- to three-times current maximum LTE speeds.