Nokia Networks scales up LTE-Advanced for dense networks

Increases capacity, leveraging pools of more than 50 cells in dense carrier aggregation network sites
Doubles user peak data rates with MIMO4x4

Espoo, Finland – 24 February 2015

At MWC 2015, Nokia Networks scales up LTE-Advanced data rates in all three technology dimensions: spectrum, cells and efficiency. Complementing Carrier Aggregation, the company is launching MIMO4x4 doubling peak data rates and demonstrating 256QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation), offering a further 30% boost. In addition inter-eNodeB-Carrier Aggregation software allows operators to maximize return on investment of existing Flexi Multiradio 10 base stations through ultra dense deployments of over 50 macro and metro/small cells per site.

These three dimensions are the key to delivering 1000 times capacity by 2020. Nokia Networks now evolves LTE-A networks beyond carrier aggregation (CA), which has already been widely used to scale up the spectrum bandwidth.

The ongoing network densification will grow the number of cells, especially in urban environments*. By introducing advanced MIMO schemes** and higher order modulation***, network efficiency and data rates will increase, when capable user equipment becomes available.

Solution details at a glance:
Software-based evolution of Nokia Flexi Multiradio 10 base station, scales LTE-Advanced CA sites in spectrum, cells and efficiency.

Spectrum: CA allows data rates to scale linearly with aggregated spectrum. Nokia LTE-Advanced CA has been in commercial use since the initial launches of LTE-Advanced in Korea, in 2013. At the beginning of 2015, roughly 30% of all LTE operators are investing in LTE-Advanced CA deployments, studies or trials****. At MWC Nokia Networks demonstrates CA with 450Mbps on the latest available commercial user equipment chipset generation, Cat.9.

Cells: Dense deployments are enabled by using up to 6 frequency bands and pools of over 50 cells* by employing Flexi Multiradio Radio Modules and Remote Radio Heads as well as the new compact Flexi Metro Remote Radio Heads.

Efficiency: MIMO 4×4 doubles peak data rates compared to MIMO 2×2 without the need for additional spectrum**. At MWC, Nokia Networks demonstrates MIMO 4×4 together with CA on the Flexi Multiradio 10 base station reaching a peak data rate of 600 Mbps, the theoretical maximum of upcoming Cat.11 user devices.

Efficiency: 256QAM is a higher order modulation scheme, introduced in December 2014 in the LTE-Advanced specifications of 3GPP Rel. 12. Compared to 64QAM, it allows an increase in peak data rates of up to 30%. At MWC, Nokia Networks shows its readiness by demonstrating 256QAM together with CA of 40 MHz of spectrum on the Flexi Multiradio 10 base station reaching 390 Mbps, defined as theoretical maximum for Cat.13 user devices***.

The demonstrations will be shown at the Nokia Experience Center, Hall 3, Stand 3B10.

Michael Thelander, President of Signals Research Group commented: “The combination of carrier aggregation with MIMO4x4 and 256QAM creates the perfect solution for operators that are looking to maximize network performance with a limited amount of spectrum. Nokia Network’s implementation of MIMO4x4 means that it can be deployed on a large scale basis, providing performance gains for connected cars and larger form factor personal devices. With the software-based introduction of 256QAM, Nokia Networks presents an efficient network evolution path, realizing the greatest benefits in urban environments.”

Did you know?
In Korea, where Nokia Networks is LTE-Advanced supplier to all three operators and where LTE-A CA was commercially launched in 2013, the operators have already launched a third data rate evolution step: 3-band Carrier Aggregation, which enables a service called “LTE-A x4”, as it is now 4x as fast as the LTE networks initially launched.