Optus, in partnership with Swedish vendor Ericsson, claims to have achieved a world first by delivering coexistence of narrow band IoT (NB-IoT) and Ericsson Spectrum Sharing between 5G and 4G on the 700MHz spectrum layer. The Aussie operator said that using the ‘cutting-edge technology’ would enable it to unlock a quick and cost-effective way to enable 5G services on low frequency spectrum bands, giving a boost in 5G coverage, without compromising the excellent customer experience offered by mid-band 5G services. Moreover, Optus suggested that utilising Ericsson Spectrum Sharing on the 700MHz spectrum layer will maintain the 4G and NB-IoT user experience while significantly extending the reach of 5G coverage, both indoors and outdoors. According to Optus, the implementation of this technology will enable it to further extend its 5G coverage footprint over a wider area, while leveraging the recent implementation of FDD+TDD 5G carrier aggregation on the mid-band spectrum to bring super-fast 5G speeds to end users.
‘This test has shown that our 5G coverage footprint on our world class network can be extended without compromising 4G and NBIOT customer experience and is the first step in being able to carefully introduce this technology. The test also highlights the ability to achieve spectrum efficiency through enabling multiple services and technologies on the same spectrum resource,’ said Lambo Kanagaratnam, Managing Director Optus Networks.
Alongside this development, Optus has also announced that working in partnership with Ericsson and Casa Systems, it recently recorded a new milestone on its network, with a single user mmWave reaching peak speeds of over 5Gbps in a controlled environment at its Sydney headquarters – followed by 4.5Gbps in a live commercial environment in Sydney’s Kings Cross. The cellco said the speeds had been achieved using a Casa Systems AurusAI commercial CPE device on commercial Ericsson Radio Access Network.