Vodafone and Huawei demonstrate FDD, TDD LTE carrier aggregation?

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Huawei Technology Co Ltd (SHE:002502) has made many announcements at MWC, but its news of a demonstration of carrier aggregation (CA) across FDD and TDD LTE modes – and specifically Vodafone Group plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD)’s involvement – is particularly interesting according toSteven Hartley, principal analyst at Ovum.

Hartley explains: “The benefit of CA across FDD and TDD LTE is that operators can combine cheaper TDD spectrum with more “traditional” FDD spectrum to boost capacity and downlink speeds. In this case the partners are promising over 500Mbps. The cost efficiencies for an operator of leveraging the full range of spectrum assets available is unquestionable, but most operators have so far shied away from the technical complexities involved.

“Disruptive operator 3 has already announced its intention to utilize FDD and TDD in Italy and Sweden, based on ZTE infrastructure. That an industry (and FDD) stalwart of Vodafone’s scale backs a dual-mode approach is notable, yet this announcement is not a complete surprise. Back in 2009 Vodafone, Verizon, and China Mobile called on vendors to develop equipment and devices supporting both modes. But today’s announcement goes a step further and enables the two modes to be combined. Furthermore, Vodafone has acquired TDD spectrum in Spain and in the UK’s last spectrum auction, so although today’s news focusses on Spain, we can assume that it will not be an isolated implementation.”

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