Australian mobile network operator (MNO) Optus has completed a demonstration showcasing the use of New Radio Dual Connectivity (NR-DC) technology to aggregate its mid-band 3500MHz spectrum assets with its recently acquired mmWave 26GHz spectrum. With the demonstration having been conducted in Sydney and carried out in partnership with Ericsson and MediaTek, the MNO said it had shown the benefits of using NR-DC to extend the mmWave 5G coverage over a greater distance. Using MediaTek’s M80 test platform and Ericsson’s RAN Compute (basebands) and 5G radios, the demo highlighted the benefits of utilising both spectrum bands simultaneously, with average and peak 5G speeds expected to increase significantly. Optus has said it expects to roll out this new capability across its 5G network ‘later this year’ as commercial mmWave devices begin to hit the market.
Commenting, Lambo Kanagaratnam, Optus Managing Director Networks, said: ‘It’s important to us that we look at innovative ways to amplify our 5G technology assets so that our customers receive the best and fastest 5G network possible. The demonstration of NR Dual connectivity aggregation is another significant technology milestone that will help us meet this goal.’