To hit the speeds, Telstra has combined its existing 20MHz channel on the 1800MHz spectrum with two 4G-FDD channels of 20MHz each operating on the 2600MHz spectrum. Then, a prototype Category 9 engineering device was used to combine the three data channels and achieve the speeds.
Telstra Networks group managing director Mike Wright said that the exercise was designed to test the robustness of the network and how to lift performance as consumer uptake ramps up. While the peak speed of 450MBps will not be translated at a commercial level, Wright said that tripling typical user speeds possible on Telstra’s current service means that the network will have the capability to effectively tackle future traffic demand shared across many users. Source
Telstra claims that this is the first time in the world those speeds have been achieved by aggregating three data channels on an LTE-A network. However, the speeds were achieved in a trial environment, and Telstra cautioned that actual speeds will be lower after real-life conditions are taken into account.
In Australia, the 2600MHz spectrum is still used by some television broadcasters. Last year the Australia Communications and Media Authority held a ‘digital dividend’ auction of the spectrum with Telstra, along with Optus and TPG Internet, all securing allotments which will come into effect later this year. Today’s test was conducted using a scientific licence for testing that Telstra obtained with permission from the TV networks still operating on 2600MHz. Source
Ericsson’s Head of Product Area Radio said “with the successful demonstration of LTE-A three component carrier aggregation capability in the network and continued development of devices, it is important for leading operators to ensure the network keeps pace with LTE-A developments. Ericsson’s strong technology partnership with Telstra has resulted in yet another world’s first technology achievement.”