SK Telecom, one of the leading mobile operators in South Korea, has successfully tested mobile broadband with Ericsson’s Licensed Assisted Access solution. The test was carried out indoors using smartphones and data speeds of 1 Gbps were recorded, which is a major achievement with the new technology in that test environment.
Licensed Assisted Access is a technology that utilizes licensed LTE spectrum and unlicensed spectrum, combining the best of both. SK Telecom used one LTE 20MHz band and three Wi-Fi 20MHz bands for the test, and also applied Ericsson’s 4x4 MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) functionality in the LTE frequency band.
Furthermore, Listen-Before-Talk technology was applied to both the Wi-Fi and LTE networks to maximize the utilization of the available spectrum and reduce resource contention. Ericsson’s LTE-based transmission control also helped to significantly increase the efficiency of the Wi-Fi network.
Park Jin-hyo, Head of Network Research and Development at SK Telecom, says: "The technology that we have tested is the starting point for an evolution to 5G, and SK Telecom will continue to develop the infrastructure so that users can experience 5G service as soon as possible.”
Patrick Johansson, Chief Executive Officer at Ericsson-LG, says: “Global mobile data traffic is expected to increase eight times by 2022, with video being increasingly dominant. Naturally, South Korea is part of this development and Ericsson’s Licensed Assisted Access solution will provide a better user experience for SK Telecom’s customers.”
With Ericsson’s Licensed Assisted Access solution, broadband users connected by means of Wi-Fi automatically take advantage of inherent LTE benefits. In short, they are able to access the network more quickly and when terminating a session, network resources are also released more quickly. This improves the utilization of the unlicensed spectrum and more important, the overall experience for all users.