SAN JOSE, Calif. – Ericsson plans to demo at Mobile World Congress this month features of LTE-Advanced, including a prototype 8x8 MIMO antenna that could deliver data at a Gbit/second. It will also talk about its plans to support cloud virtualization and software-defined networks, including support for OpenFlow.
A handful of wireless operators are installing elements of LTE-Advanced Release 10 (R10) this year, starting with carrier aggregation. The feature lets operators link together multiple non-contiguous bands of their scarce spectrum together to create broadband data channels.
Ericsson will demo the feature with handsets powered by Qualcomm chips to hit peak data rates of 150 Mbits/s over 20 MHz. This is the first year both base stations and handsets supporting the feature are ready to ship.
“A few operators will upgrade to R10 this year, and carrier aggregation is the driver--it’s the first thing they need," said Hanna Maurer Sibley, a director of mobile broadband at Ericsson.
Ericsson also will show interoperability of LTE and the China variant, LTE TDD, including a voice over LTE call between the two systems working with China Mobile, ST-Ericsson and Renesas Mobile. It will also demo a data handover working with China Mobile and chip designer Altair.
Separately, Ericsson will stage a technology prototype of an 8x8 multiple input, multiple output antenna system. It is geared to deliver to handsets data rates up to a Gbit/second on bleeding edge LTE R10 networks.
"You can’t make a product like this today for a price the market would accept--size is also a challenge—so commercial use is some years away," said Sibley, noting chip sets supporting the feature are not yet available in handsets.
Meanwhile, Ericsson will show two 4x4 antenna systems. The Air 32 accepts two radio signals; the Air 21 accepts one radio signal and is currently being deployed by T-Mobile for a R10 network in the U.S.
Air 21 "offers a fast-track way of getting mobile broadband services such as LTE into the marketplace," said Neville Ray, chief technology officer of T-Mobile USA, in a statement. “We can save months in terms of deployment with this product on a per-site basis [and it offers] many performance gains and benefits in radio performance."