Qualcomm and SK Telecom Announce First Enhanced Licensed Assisted Access (eLAA) Over-the-Air Trial


SEP 28, 2016 SAN DIEGO

  • Increased data speeds in both up- and downlink by combining 2.6GHz LTE spectrum with 5GHz unlicensed spectrum
  • LTE can enable 2X higher capacity in unlicensed spectrum while sharing the spectrum fairly with Wi-Fi
  • The evolution of LTE-Advanced Pro technology efficiently utilizes the combination of licensed and unlicensed spectrum to offer better data rates to customers

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), and SK Telecom (CEO Dong-hyun Jang,www.sktelecom.com) announced the first over-the-air technology demonstration of eLAA (Enhanced Licensed Assisted Access) and LAA (Licensed Assisted Access) that utilizes both licensed and unlicensed spectrum at SK Telecom’s Corporate R&D Center in Bundang, Korea.

eLAA technology increases data speeds in both uplink and downlink by aggregating licensed and unlicensed spectrum to create a wider data pipe in both directions. eLAA is an evolution of LAA, which used the unlicensed spectrum to boost the data speed in the downlink direction only.

The demo uses 2.6GHz licensed spectrum and 5GHz unlicensed spectrum. When evaluating coexistence, a baseline was first established using only Wi-Fi users, of which some were then switched from Wi-Fi to LAA/eLAA while others remained on Wi-Fi. The trial demonstrated that the users that remained on Wi-Fi were unaffected by those that switched to LAA/eLAA. This effectively demonstrates that LAA/eLAA shares the unlicensed spectrum fairly with Wi-Fi. The sharing mechanism used by LAA/eLAA is called listen-before-talk (LBT). As for performance, LAA and eLAA were shown in multiple test cases to achieve 2X capacity in 5 GHz than the Wi-Fi only baseline.

In June 2015, SK Telecom launched “Band LTE Wi-Fi” service based on Multi-Path Transmission Control Protocol (MPTCP) technology that combines LTE and Wi-Fi traffic to enable downlink rates up to 1.17Gbps. This means that SK Telecom can now choose from two available technologies to combine unlicensed spectrum with existing LTE spectrum, eLAA and MPTCP.

In addition to MPTCP and eLAA, which use unlicensed spectrum in hotspots, SK Telecom is also concentrating on further LTE-Advanced Pro technology development based on new frequency bands to deliver faster data rate than competitors while mobile with wider coverage areas.

Eduardo Esteves, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. said, “This trial aims to demonstrate fair and harmonious coexistence of LAA with Wi-Fi in unlicensed spectrum. This is also a manifestation of Qualcomm Technologies’ and SK Telecom’s leadership in leveraging the latest technologies to improve user experience.”

Jin Hyo Park, head of network technology at SK Telecom said, “A flexible combination between licensed and unlicensed spectrum is necessary to enable high quality massive 5G service.” He added, “We will lead the network innovation towards LTE-A Pro and 5G including combining licensed and unlicensed spectrum technologies such as eLAA and MPTCP.”

About Qualcomm

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) is a world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm’s licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm’s engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, QCT. For more than 30 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other. For more information, visit Qualcomm’s website,OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.

About SK Telecom

SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM, KSE: 017670), established in 1984, is Korea’s largest telecommunications company with more than 29.15 million mobile subscribers, accounting for around 50% of the market. The company reached KRW 17.137 trillion in revenue in 2015. As the world’s first company to commercialize CDMA, CDMA 2000 1x, CDMA EV-DO and HSDPA networks, SK Telecom launched the nation’s first LTE service in July 2011. SK Telecom also became the world’s first mobile carrier to commercialize 150Mbps LTE-Advanced in June 2013 and 225Mbps LTE-Advanced in June 2014 through Carrier Aggregation (CA). In line with its efforts to swiftly move towards the next-generation mobile network system, or 5G, it successfully commercialized 300Mbps tri-band LTE-A CA in December 2014 and launched LTE-Advanced Pro in June 2016. As of the end of June 2016, the company has over 20.03 million LTE and LTE-Advanced subscribers. Based on its strength in network operations business, SK Telecom is seeking new growth engines through three innovative platforms namely Lifestyle Enhancement Platform, Advanced Media Platform and IoT Service Platform. For more information, please visit www.sktelecom.com/en or email to skt_press@sk.com.

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