BT claims European first with 4CC aggregation in a 5G SA live network

9 Aug 2022

BT claims to have become the first operator in Europe to aggregate four carrier components (4CC) in a 5G Standalone (SA) live network, with the operator saying the development represented a breakthrough which ‘heralds the next phase of 5G on its EE mobile network, which will deliver superior experiences for customers and enable new capabilities for enterprises’.

In a press release regarding the development, BT said that working in collaboration with Nokia its ‘Networks’ team had successfully combined four low-band and mid-band radio channels, (2100MHz, 2600MHz, 3.4GHz and 3.6GHz), using Nokia’s 5G Radio Access Network technology in EE’s live network spectrum. The trial was conducted in two stages, initially taking place in BT’s Radio Lab in Bristol, before moving outdoors, onto a radio mast at BT’s Adastral Park in Suffolk, where the team successfully achieved ‘4CC on 5G SA radiating in EE’s regular radio spectrum’. According to BT, not only did this represent the first time in Europe that a network operator has achieved 4CC on 5G SA using commercial spectrum, but it was also the first time it has been achieved outside of a lab in Europe.

Commenting, Greg McCall, Managing Director Service Platforms BT, said: ‘As we migrate to a 5G standalone core network, this technology milestone is vital to giving our customers the best experience.’ The executive added: ‘Our trial with Nokia is another demonstration of building the most advanced network for our customers. 5G SA, coupled with edge compute, will unlock new opportunities for customers looking to develop new services. Furthermore, this technology showcases what’s possible for devices in the future in terms of supporting carrier aggregation, which is an important part of customer experience.’

United Kingdom, BT Group (incl. Openreach), EE, Nokia