Orange France and equipment vendor Ericsson have successfully trialled ‘FDD LTE-Advanced’ technology in the 3.5GHz frequency band. According to a joint press release, the demonstration, which was authorised by French telecoms regulator Arcep, was carried out in October-November 2014 on Orange’s LTE-A network in Bordeaux using Ericsson’s pre-commercial equipment. The first phase of the trial, performed at Orange Labs in Paris, achieved download speeds of 300Mbps by aggregating spectrum in the 3.5GHz and 2.6GHz bands, thus ‘confirming the potential of 3.5GHz FDD technology to increase mobile broadband capacity’. The second phase was carried out on Orange’s live mobile network and was based on Ericsson’s pre-commercial FDD 3.5GHz radio base station equipment. Further, the trial confirmed that the existing network grid (utilised for the 1800MHz and the 2.6GHz bands) can be reused for a 3.5GHz macro grid.
Alain Maloberti, senior vice president at Orange Labs Networks, said: ‘This live FDD trial demonstrated that the 3.5 GHz band can be successfully used in urban and suburban environments in stand-alone mode or in aggregation with another band to provide advanced mobile broadband services using a FDD access scheme for high peak data rate applications to enhance user experience.’