BT and Ericsson Achieve Milestone in 5G Network Expansion with Wideband FDD Transmission

BT and Ericsson have achieved a significant breakthrough in the realm of 5G technology by successfully demonstrating the transmission of 5G services over a wideband FDD (frequency division duplex) radio carrier within a sub-3 GHz spectrum band. This accomplishment marks a critical advancement in the evolution of 5G networks and holds promise for enhanced user experiences and network performance.
BT broadbandIn a groundbreaking trial conducted on BT’s live network in Bristol and Potters Bar, the collaborative effort showcased the advantages of configuring a wide carrier bandwidth of 50MHz (50MHz downlink + 50MHz uplink) in EE’s 2.6GHz band. The trial also encompassed the integration of downlink aggregation with two TDD (time division duplex) carriers in EE’s 3.5GHz band, and it further evaluated an intermediate carrier bandwidth of 30MHz.

The trial harnessed existing Ericsson commercial hardware, including the Baseband 6648 and Radio 4419, and leveraged the activation of the software feature ‘Large Bandwidth Support Low-Band.’ MediaTek Dimensity-powered handsets, equipped with the integrated MediaTek M80 Release-16 modem, were employed for testing. Notably, this trial exhibited a remarkable capacity uplift of over three times using a single FDD carrier. This development is particularly significant for the uplink in 5G Standalone (5G SA) networks, which currently rely on a single carrier configuration.

The successful transmission of 5G services in a wideband FDD carrier opens the door to expanding 5G capabilities in FDD bands. This advancement aligns with the broader vision of deploying EE’s 5G Standalone mobile network. In the future, 5G SA has the potential to revolutionize user experiences for both consumers and businesses, effectively addressing the escalating demand for data driven by emerging technologies like cloud gaming, virtual reality, and edge computing.

Greg McCall, Chief Networks Officer at BT Group, emphasized the significance of this breakthrough, stating, “This is critical to achieving this goal, and also paves the way to ensuring that 5G SA delivers new possibilities for our customers.”

Evangelia Tzifa, Chief Technology Officer, Networks & Managed Services for Ericsson UK and Ireland, highlighted the achievement’s impact on network performance and user experience, stating, “This is a fundamental link for business success and the evolution to next-generation connectivity across the country.”

Ho-Chi Hwang, General Manager of Wireless Communication Systems and Partnerships at MediaTek, commended the achievement’s role in advancing mobile connectivity, saying, “This remarkable achievement of boosting uplink capacity is a fundamental step for the evolution from 5G Non-Standalone to 5G Standalone networks.”

The successful transmission of 5G services over a wideband FDD carrier underscores the ongoing commitment of both BT and Ericsson to pushing the boundaries of 5G technology, ultimately contributing to a future of enhanced connectivity and transformative experiences for users across various industries.