Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Nokia Networks have successfully demonstrated what they claim to be ‘the first TDD-FDD Carrier Aggregation (CA) with a commercial chipset in Middle East and Africa’. According to a press release, the trial, which was carried out using a combination of the FDD 1800MHz band and the TDD 2300MHz frequency bands, ‘sets a benchmark for operators to optimally use their scarce spectrum resources and significantly improve LTE mobile broadband network capacity, coverage and speed’. The vendor says that operators can significantly extend TDD coverage with TDD-FDD carrier aggregation with no additional changes to the network, while load balancing between TDD and FDD-LTE networks ensures the best coverage and speed for all subscribers in both networks.
Abdullah Alzmame, vice president of Networks at STC, said: ‘We have a strong track record with Nokia; early this year we launched carrier aggregation on the TDD layer, doubling available throughput for our customers. In 2011, we provided commercial service on a TD-LTE network which now covers most of the Saudi population. With this new achievement, we enter the next level to improve speeds for consumers.’