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Optus builds ‘gigasite’ across six frequency bands

Optus has built a 'gigasite' using carrier aggregation

Optus has built a ‘gigasite’ using carrier aggregation

Australian carrier Optus this week claimed to have attained a blistering 1.7Gbps downlink speed on a live site using carrier aggregation technologies across HSPA+, FDD LTE and TD-LTE.

The operator contracted NSN to build the site in Sydney, using commercially available equipment. The site in question made use of six frequency bands: FDD LTE: 700MHz; HSPA+: 900MHz; FDD LTE: 1800MHz; HSPA+: 2100MHz; TD-LTE: 2300MHz; and FDD LTE: 2600MHz.

The 9th annual LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 15th-17th September 2014 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

“With this world first ‘Gigasite’, we are showing the capacity of all our spectrum assets, including our recently purchased 700, 2300 and 2600 MHz bands, by combining multiple layers and technologies onto a single site. Trials such as this are vital in enabling Optus to prepare for our network of the future, and support more users and more data per user while at the same time enhancing the customer experience,” said Andrew Smith, VP of mobile engineering, Optus.

Apple limits support for European LTE bands

The page on Apple's website outlining the iPhone 5's LTE band compatibility

Only one of the three spectrum bands supported by the European version of Apple’s iPhone 5 is a European LTE band; a decision described by one industry consultancy as “really odd”. According to Apple’s website, the new handset supports LTE bands 1 (2100MHz), 3 (1800MHz) and 5 (850MHz). In Europe LTE is being deployed at 2.6GHz and the European digital dividend band of 800MHz, as well as 1800MHz.

This decision could cause problems for a number of European operators that don’t have 1800MHz spectrum in any quantity. As things stand in the UK, which has been in the headlines itself this week thanks to EE’s forthcoming launch, Vodafone and O2 will not be able to make a great deal of use of the iPhone 5 when they eventually get their LTE spectrum, unless they re-farm some of what they currently use for 3G services.

“In Europe LTE is not deployed in Band 1 (2.1GHz). Furthermore Band 5 is not the European 800MHz Digital Dividend band – that would be Band 20 (CEPT 800),” said Stefan Zehle, CEO of industry consultancy Coleago. “This is really odd, perhaps Apple made a mistake in its website publication and it should read Band 20 (CEPT 800), Band 3 (1800 MHz), and Band 7 (2.6GHz). This band combination is the normal European LTE phone specification, as used for example for the Samsung Galaxy LTE model sold by Vodafone Germany and others.” – telecoms industry news, analysis and opinion

Fitbit dominates health and fitness wearables as basic bands exceed 9 million shipments

Total shipments of basic bands, which are mainly health and fitness trackers, exceeded 9 million units. Xiaomi followed in second place, shipping nearly 3 million Mi bands, Click here for more.

Cellular News

Live LTE Carrier Aggregation of licensed and unlicensed bands on commercial network

Ericsson with Vodafone and Qualcomm have conducted world’s first live testing of advanced LTE Carrier Aggregation (CA) of LTE in licensed and unlicensed bands on a commercial mobile network. Click here for more.

Cellular News

Telstra Testing LTE Using the 700Mhz Bands

Australia’s Telstra says that it has secured early access to the 700 MHz spectrum for commercial trials starting in mid September. Click here for more.


Fitbit leads in basic wearable bands, while Samsung leads the smart band market

The wearable band market grew 684% on a worldwide basis in the first half of 2014 compared with the first half of 2013, Click here for more.