Vodafone Group’s Networks Centre of Excellence team and the Huawei Mobile Innovation Centre have identified a new way to create unparalleled overlap between the usage of 900 Megahertz (MHz) spectrum for GSM and LTE services, leading to a significant increase in 4G speeds and improved customer experience.
The world’s first live commercial trial of GSM/LTE (GL) spectrum sharing was conducted on Vodafone's network in the city of Diyarbakir, on the banks of the Tigris River in the South East of Turkey.
Diyarbakir in Turkey was the site of an innovative test to improve the sharing of 900 MHz spectrum.
Algorithms developed by Huawei were used to enable greater flexibility in the way that blocks of 900 MHz spectrum could carry both 4G (LTE) and 2G (GSM) traffic.
GL spectrum sharing enabled an approximately 58% increase in average downlink user throughput and a 44% average increase in uplink user throughput compared with a standard 5 MHz block of LTE bandwidth.
Chart 1 –Vodafone Turkey’s improved usage of 900 MHz spectrum utilising GL spectrum sharing.
Vodafone Turkey wants to utilise more effectively its spectrum resources to handle increasing 4G data traffic.
Vodafone Turkey launched 4.5G services on April 1, 2016. It now has the country’s broadest 4.5G coverage.
Mallik Rao, Chief Technology Officer of Vodafone Turkey said:
"Spectrum is an extremely valuable resource. Traditional refarming of spectrum results in a low utilisation rate. In comparison, GL spectrum sharing supports more efficient use of the bandwidth. That has helped to boost spectral efficiency and improve the overall experience of 4G users in Diyarbakir. I am very pleased with the favourable results and anticipate deploying this across our entire network in Turkey."
Cao Ming, President of Huawei's LTE FDD Product Line said:
"GL spectrum sharing is an innovation that is exclusive to Huawei. We are glad to verify this on commercial networks in partnership with Vodafone Turkey. Huawei is dedicated to offering technical innovations to secure the success of our customers. GL spectrum sharing not only increases spectral efficiency but also promises operators a smooth transition to LTE."
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