Nokia Networks and T-Mobile plan to accelerate Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) deployment
Nokia Networks to demo LAA co-existence with Wi-Fi and readiness of its award-winning small cells technology, currently deployed by T-Mobile
LAA functionality on unlicensed 5 GHz offers more LTE capacity indoors and outdoors, increased network performance, and better customer experience
Irving, Texas, USA - 23 February 2015
Together with T-Mobile, Nokia Networks is developing a pre-standards LAA (also referred to as LTE-U) solution that will allow the wireless provider to be an early adopter of this innovative technology. At 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.
Unlicensed spectrum can boost capacity of LTE and improve performance
With LAA, users will benefit from the additional capacity available from the unlicensed spectrum, particularly in hotspots and indoor locations. The 5 GHz frequency band, typically used for Wi-Fi today, can uniquely complement licensed LTE bands, and 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.
Demonstration details at a glance:
A prototype will show LAA live to demonstrate its features and ability to co-exist in a single box with a licensed LTE small cell solution.
It will use Nokia Flexi Zone small cells technology, currently deployed by T-Mobile.
The demonstration will showcase co-existence with Wi-Fi, operating on the same frequency band with LAA.
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.
Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer, T-Mobile, said: "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."
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."
Did you know?
LTE for the unlicensed band will rely on the existing LTE core network, using the existing security and authentication framework. This means that no changes in the core network domain will be required.
Nokia Networks has been positioned by analyst firm Gartner in the "Leaders" quadrant of the "Magic Quadrant for Small Cell Equipment", which evaluates vendors on completeness of vision and ability to execute. The Magic Quadrant report notes that Nokia Networks offers the most comprehensive product coverage of all vendors evaluated. Read the press release here and the Gartner report here.
Click here for a photo of Nokia's Flexi Zone.
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TAGS: Nokia Networks, NET, T-Mobile, Flexi Zone, customer experience, small cells
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* The Nokia Flexi Zone family of LTE small cells, which can also include Wi-Fi, forms an underlay network at street and indoor level. The solution offers full software and feature parity with Nokia Networks' macro base stations, ensuring the most efficient HetNet so that T-Mobile customers get the best performance in hot spots and hot zones. Flexi Zone's innovative "zone" architecture enables capacity scalability up to ultra dense networks, while limiting the operational complexity of large small cell deployments.