Telecomasia reports that Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has completed a further round of proof-of-concept (PoC) tests of LTE-Advanced Pro (LTE-A Pro) technology in Colombo. SLT has been working with a number of equipment manufacturers, including ZTE, testing LTE-A-Pro in a ‘live network environment with real-world conditions’. The Chinese vendor, which supplied its eWBB solution for the trial, reportedly achieved a peak throughput of over 1Gbps, using four component carrier (4CC) aggregation, 256QAM and 4×4 MIMO. ZTE’s Massive MIMO product offers a peak rate of 720Mbps per carrier in a real commercial network – which it claims are six times faster than a traditional TD-LTE carrier. For its part SLT launched TD-LTE wireless broadband services in 2014 and has been striving to increase its network capacity and quality as its user base grows. It will use ZTE’s eWBB solution to provide broadband services to Sri Lankans who remain unconnected to the internet due to the high costs of fixed broadband coverage.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in June this year SLT and Huawei Technologies carried out successful field trials of pre-5G LTE-A Pro technology in the country, laying the groundwork for the implementation of the next generation of broadband technologies. The telco’s field trial was conducted again to help enhance fixed-wireless broadband services in Sri Lanka. SLT 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 Huawei trial 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.