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Press Release -- February 24th, 2015
Source: Nokia Siemens Networks

Nokia Networks scales up LTE-Advanced for dense networks

  • Increases capacity, leveraging pools of more than 50 cells in dense carrier aggregation network sites
  • Doubles user peak data rates with MIMO4x4

Espoo, Finland –  24 February 2015

At MWC 2015, Nokia Networks scales up LTE-Advanced data rates in all three technology dimensions: spectrum, cells and efficiency. Complementing Carrier Aggregation, the company is launching MIMO4x4 doubling peak data rates and demonstrating 256QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation), offering a further 30% boost. In addition inter-eNodeB-Carrier Aggregation software allows operators to maximize return on investment of existing Flexi Multiradio 10 base stations through ultra dense deployments of over 50 macro and metro/small cells per site.

These three dimensions are the key to delivering 1000 times capacity by 2020. Nokia Networks now evolves LTE-A networks beyond carrier aggregation (CA), which has already been widely used to scale up the spectrum bandwidth.

The ongoing network densification will grow the number of cells, especially in urban environments*. By introducing advanced MIMO schemes** and higher order modulation***, network efficiency and data rates will increase, when capable user equipment becomes available.

Click to Tweet: .@nokianetworks scales up LTE-Advanced for dense networks #MWC15 #NetworksPerform

Solution details at a glance:

  • Software-based evolution of Nokia Flexi Multiradio 10 base station, scales LTE-Advanced CA sites in spectrum, cells and efficiency.
  • Spectrum: CA allows data rates to scale linearly with aggregated spectrum. Nokia LTE-Advanced CA has been in commercial use since the initial launches of LTE-Advanced in Korea, in 2013. At the beginning of 2015, roughly 30% of all LTE operators are investing in LTE-Advanced CA deployments, studies or trials****. At MWC Nokia Networks demonstrates CA with 450Mbps on the latest available commercial user equipment chipset generation, Cat.9.
  • Cells: Dense deployments are enabled by using up to 6 frequency bands and pools of over 50 cells* by employing Flexi Multiradio Radio Modules and Remote Radio Heads as well as the new compact Flexi Metro Remote Radio Heads.
  • Efficiency: MIMO 4×4 doubles peak data rates compared to MIMO 2×2 without the need for additional spectrum**. At MWC, Nokia Networks demonstrates MIMO 4×4 together with CA on the Flexi Multiradio 10 base station reaching a peak data rate of 600 Mbps, the theoretical maximum of upcoming Cat.11 user devices.
  • Efficiency: 256QAM is a higher order modulation scheme, introduced in December 2014 in the LTE-Advanced specifications of 3GPP Rel. 12. Compared to 64QAM, it allows an increase in peak data rates of up to 30%. At MWC, Nokia Networks shows its readiness by demonstrating 256QAM together with CA of 40 MHz of spectrum on the Flexi Multiradio 10 base station reaching 390 Mbps, defined as theoretical maximum for Cat.13 user devices***.
  • The demonstrations will be shown at the Nokia Experience Center, Hall 3, Stand 3B10.

Michael Thelander, President of Signals Research Group commented: “The combination of carrier aggregation with MIMO4x4 and 256QAM creates the perfect solution for operators that are looking to maximize network performance with a limited amount of spectrum. Nokia Network’s implementation of MIMO4x4 means that it can be deployed on a large scale basis, providing performance gains for connected cars and larger form factor personal devices. With the software-based introduction of 256QAM, Nokia Networks presents an efficient network evolution path, realizing the greatest benefits in urban environments.”

Did you know?

In Korea, where Nokia Networks is LTE-Advanced supplier to all three operators and where LTE-A CA was commercially launched in 2013, the operators have already launched a third data rate evolution step: 3-band Carrier Aggregation, which enables a service called “LTE-A x4”, as it is now 4x as fast as the LTE networks initially launched.

Click here to download a Nokia Networks’ Carrier Aggregation infographic.

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TAGS: LTE, LTE-Advanced, Carrier Aggregation, MIMO, 256QAM

About Nokia

Nokia invests in technologies important in a world where billions of devices are connected. We are focused on three businesses: network infrastructure software, hardware and services, which we offer through Nokia Networks; location intelligence, which we provide through HERE; and advanced technology development and licensing, which we pursue through Nokia Technologies. Each of these businesses is a leader in its respective field.

Nokia Networks is the world’s specialist in mobile broadband. From the first ever call on GSM, to the first call on LTE, we operate at the forefront of each generation of mobile technology. Our global experts invent the new capabilities our customers need in their networks. We provide the world’s most efficient mobile networks, the intelligence to maximize the value of those networks, and the services to make it all work seamlessly.  /

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* As of 2015, most cell sites comprise 3 sectors and 1 to 3 LTE frequency layers, resulting in 3 to 9 cells per site. Nokia Networks expects the evolution towards 50 cells per site in high-traffic metropolitan areas of advanced markets to continue in many urban areas over the coming years.

** MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) has been used in LTE since the introduction of commercial networks with 2 antenna branches at the basestation as well as on the user device (MIMO2x2). Nokia has already expanded the MIMO scheme to 4×2 in commercial networks, with a proven increase of coverage and cell edge performance. Nokia Networks’ radio chaining technology allows for cost-efficient evolution of existing MIMO2x2 sites to MIMO4x2, which works with existing user equipment, and MIMO4x4, which requires upcoming user equipment with 4 antennas.

*** 256QAM is a higher order modulation scheme, which increases peak data rates by 30% compared to 64QAM as used in today’s LTE user devices. In December 2014, new user equipment (UE) categories (Cat. 11 to Cat.15) have been agreed in 3GPP, which support 256QAM. A Cat.13 UE is defined to support up to 390 Mbps downlink peak data rate, as compared to a currently available Cat.6 UE, which supports up to 300 Mbps with 64QAM.

**** GSA Evolution to LTE report, January 7th, 2015

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