Verizon aggregates C-Band, mmWave spectrum

Verizon aggregates C-Band, mmWave spectrum

06 MAY 2021

US operator Verizon claimed it was able to achieve download speeds as fast as 4.3Gb/s in a lab trial by aggregating its newly acquired C-Band spectrum with its existing mmWave spectrum.

The trial used Ericsson radios and basebands and a pre-market test device based on MediaTek’s M80 modem.

Verizon has said frequently it wants to be ready to offer high speeds and low latency on 5G in the C-Band as soon as the spectrum is cleared. Verizon spent almost $53 billion on C-Band spectrum and clearing costs, in a move calculated to take the company from a relatively weak 5G spectrum position to a much stronger stance. Verizon secured an average of 161MHz of C-Band spectrum nationwide.

Adam Koeppe, Senior Vice President of Technology Planning at Verizon, said Verizon’s spectrum portfolio is “now the strongest in the industry”, and that both mobile and fixed broadband customers will benefit from the C-Band. “These lab trials demonstrate the exceptional network performance our customers will receive as we are able to integrate our newly acquired C-band spectrum with mmWave spectrum,” he said.

The lab trial aggregated 100MHz of C-band spectrum together with 600MHz of mmWave spectrum. Verizon has plenty of mmWave spectrum and its early 5G efforts were focused in those bands.

The trial used Ericsson’s massive MIMO radios for both spectrum bands. For the C-Band spectrum, the vendor’s RAN Compute Baseband 6648 and Antenna-Integrated Radio (AIR) 6449 were used, and for the mmWave band the team used the Streetmacro 6701.

Verizon has already started deploying C-Band spectrum at sites where it can do so, using equipment from Ericsson and Samsung. The company expects to serve 46 markets and 100 million people by the first quarter of 2022.

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Martha DeGrasse

Freelance tech journalist Martha DeGrasse (@mardegrasse) is delighted to be contributing to Mobile World Live. Martha has written for a number of telecom and wireless publications, and was a writer, editor and video producer at RCR Wireless News for almost...

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