Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) together with Huawei Technologies has successfully carried out South Asia’s first comprehensive field trial of Pre-5G LTE Advanced Pro technology.
SLT has continued to develop its modern infrastructure; complementing its access technology portfolio with FTTH (Fiber-to-the-home) and fixed TD-LTE (Time-Division Long-Term Evolution) on one hand while implementing state of the art service platforms such as Akaza Cloud, IPTV (Internet Protocol television) and OTT (Over-the-top content).
The SLT Group’s overlaid broadband strategy comprises of; fixed-wired broadband, fixed-wireless broadband, Wi-Fi and mobile broadband provided by SLT’s fully owned subsidiary Mobitel.
In the recent field trial using the TD-LTE 2500 MHz band, SLT reached a downlink speed of 855.9 Mbps for a single user terminal with Advanced Carrier Aggregation Technology, and achieved a cell throughput of over 700 Mbps for multiple users via a single TDD carrier using Massive MIMO technology with a 64T64R antenna configuration.
SLT also achieved a user plane latency of 5.5 ms (milliseconds), a marked improvement over the 15 ms user plane latency currently experienced in LTE Advanced networks. Additional network features synonyms with forthcoming 5G technology specifications; including inter-eNodeB carrier aggregation, multi-user MIMO, soft sector splitting and Coordinated Multi-Point (CoMP) were also successfully tested in field conditions.
These capabilities effectively multiply the capacity that can be delivered over a wireless channel, allowing SLT to ensure higher downlink data rates for more customers using the same frequency resources and existing LTE cell sites, and any commercial LTE device. Higher downlink rates for individual users will enable smoother viewing of 4K and HD video, lower latency for online gaming, and seamless access to cloud services. More significantly, the multi-fold spectrum efficiency improvement enabled by this technology has far-reaching national implications, as frequency spectrum is a scarce national resource.
SLT expects to commercially launch its Pre-5G LTE Advanced Pro network by the end of this year and continue developing the technology capabilities further for successful 5G launch by 2020.