Saudi Telecom Company (stc) has announced a milestone in its 5G commercial network development, demonstrating new radio (NR) time division duplex (TDD) and frequency division duplex (FDD) carrier aggregation (CA) using Ericsson Spectrum Sharing (ESS) and a single MediaTek Dimensity 5G chipset, reports SatelliteproME. stc demoed a 5G non-standalone (NSA) data call aggregating 20MHz FDD spectrum (shared with 4G LTE using ESS) and 100MHz TDD spectrum in live network conditions in Riyadh. Additionally, NSA Dual Connectivity was enabled in order to aggregate two more LTE carriers using 40MHz total bandwidth.
stc’s announcement added: ‘The combination of NR FDD 700MHz and NR TDD 3.6GHz provides benefits in both coverage and capacity enhancements. Using NR FDD 700MHz with ESS solutions enables spectrum sharing between 5G NR and LTE for more efficient spectrum usage and NR coverage extension of mid-band TDD. The tests seamlessly showed that aggregating 5G connections can provide users with greater throughput and enables stc to efficiently manage 5G higher capacity. The 5G NR CA unlocks new sources of spectrum in both the mid-band and low-band radio frequencies. NR CA will allow advanced RAN coordination, higher Peak Rate Throughput, extended coverage and increased efficiency while maximising the use of spectrum assets.’
TeleGeography notes that rival Saudi operator Mobily trialled 5G/4G spectrum sharing in the 800MHz/1800MHz bands using ESS technology in September 2020.