Hard on the heels of last week’s trial announcement with Nokia, Saudi Arabian operator STC has announced another major partnership, this time involving a carrier aggregation proof of concept with Ericsson.
STC and Ericsson say they have successfully completed a TDD-TDD (time division duplex) 5G carrier aggregation proof of concept (PoC) to support nationwide 5G rollout with extended coverage and increased capacity. This, say the partners, will provide STC subscribers with higher data speeds while enabling a host of new, low-latency applications.
This PoC is the latest in what STC and Ericsson describe as their journey of testing carrier aggregation capabilities. It is driven by Ericsson based on the introduction of the 2.3GHz 5G band and adding carrier aggregation with the 3.5GHz, corroborating the success of the first carrier aggregation test (TDD+FDD).
The PoC took place on STC’s commercial network to demonstrate the benefits of 5G carrier aggregation for higher peak rates and increased network capacity. The field results and simulation of the PoC will drive STC in accelerating the introduction of the 2.3GHz 5G band in the existing 3.5GHz 5G band deployed network.
Ericsson has been testing 5G non-standalone (NSA) carrier aggregation since the first quarter of 2021 using massive MIMO radios. Enabling 5G carrier aggregation will pave the way for STC subscribers to truly experience 5G technology as more use cases are implemented, say the partners.
This is another first for STC which last week announced alongside Nokia the successful completion of the Middle East and Africa region’s first trial of a 1-Terabit high-capacity channel.