Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) and China’s Huawei Technologies have carried out successful field trials of 4.5G (‘pre-5G’) LTE-Advanced Pro (LTE-A Pro) technology in the country, laying the groundwork for the implementation of the next generation of broadband technologies. The telco says that the field trial was conducted ultimately to help enhance fixed-wireless broadband services in Sri Lanka. It expects to commercially launch its LTE-A Pro network by the end of this year and continue developing the technology capabilities further for successful 5G launch by 2020. The SLT Group’s wider broadband strategy comprises fixed broadband (e.g. FTTx), fixed-wireless broadband, Wi-Fi and mobile broadband provided by its wholly owned subsidiary Mobitel. The LTE-A Pro trial reportedly utilised TD-LTE 2500MHz band spectrum and achieved downlink speeds of 855.9Mbps for a single user terminal with advanced carrier aggregation (CA) technology, and achieved a cell throughput of over 700Mbps for multiple users via a single TDD carrier using Massive MIMO technology with a 64T64R antenna configuration.