Claiming a first in Africa, Angolan cellco Unitel and Swedish equipment provider Ericsson have successfully demonstrated LTE Advanced (LTE-A) Carrier Aggregation technology, on a live network and using commercial terminal equipment. The demonstration used both 1800MHz and 900MHz spectrum bands and took place on 18 December 2013, when Unitel transferred commercial data traffic across its live network in Luanda, according to Ericsson’s press release yesterday (14 January 2014).
Amilcar Safeca, deputy CEO of Unitel, said: ‘Unitel is always innovating to enhance the customer experience. With the global leap toward higher data access speeds for sophisticated video and mobility services, we are enhancing our network to ensure we continually provide high-quality services to our high-demanding subscriber base. With this demo, we are well on the way to launching the most advanced mobile network in Angola and perhaps Africa in the near future. We are working with Ericsson to make this happen.’
Magnus Mchunguzi, vice president of Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa, said: ‘Using LTE-A technology, operators can increase their network capacity and enhance the mobile broadband user experience, enabling up to 1Gbps data rates in the future. This demo places Unitel on the very limited list of operators in the world to demonstrate LTE-A in a live network using a commercial terminal. We are very proud to have partnered with Unitel in this achievement, further extending our long-standing relationship with Unitel.’