BT and Ericsson have demonstrated the transmission of 5G services in a wideband frequency division duplex (FDD) radio carrier (over 20MHz) within a sub-3GHz spectrum band.

In what is a European first according to both, the breakthrough demonstrates the benefits of configuring a wide carrier bandwidth of 50MHz in EE’s 2.6GHz band and performing downlink aggregation with two TDD carrier in EE’s 3.5GHz band.

The trial also evaluated an intermediate carrier bandwidth of 30MHz.

“This breakthrough is the latest example of our commitment to maximising the full potential of 5G for our customers,” said Greg McCall, chief networks officer at BT.

“As network quality and accessibility improve, so too will innovation and the 5G services ecosystem. Demonstrating new network capabilities such as those announced today is critical to achieving this goal, and also paves the way to ensuring that 5G SA delivers new possibilities for our customers.”

Conducted on BT’s live network in Bristol and Potters Bar using existing Ericsson commercial hardware and by activating the software feature ‘Large Bandwidth Support Low-Band’, testing with MediaTek Dimensity powered handsets with integrated MediaTek M80 Release-16 modem, the trial has shown a capacity uplift of more than three times with a single FDD carrier.

This is significant for the uplink in 5G Standalone (SA) which is currently based on a single carrier.

5G SA will enable superior experiences, the companies said in a statement, adding that it will enable growing demand for data, driven by cloud gaming, VR and other emerging edge technologies.

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