BT claims to become the first European operator to aggregate four carrier components (4CC) on a live 5G Standalone (SA) network. “As we migrate to a 5G standalone core network, this technology milestone is vital to giving our customers the best experience” commented Greg McCall, managing director of service platforms at BT.
Working in collaboration with Nokia, BT’s Networks team have combined four low-band and mid-band radio channels, (2.1, 2.6, 3.4, 3.6 GHz), using Nokia’s 5G RAN technology in EE’s live network spectrum.
The trial was conducted in two stages; the first took place in BT’s Radio Lab in Bristol, and was later moved outdoors, onto a radio mast at Adastral Park in Suffolk, where the team achieved 4CC on 5G SA transmitting in EE’s regular radio spectrum. In addition to being the first time in Europe that a network operator has used commercial spectrum to accomplish 4CC on 5G SA , this is also the first time it has been done outside of a lab in Europe.
The majority of today’s 5G networks are non-standalone (NSA), meaning they rely on existing 4G infrastructure. 5G carrier aggregation (CA) over a standalone network represents a major step forward in the evolution of 5G infrastructure, effectively combining several transmission bands into a single connection. Higher capacity and speed can be delivered straight to customer devices with each new carrier that is introduced.
Our trial with Nokia is another demonstration of building the most advanced network for our customers. 5G Standalone, coupled with edge compute, will unlock new opportunities for customers looking to develop new services. Furthermore, this technology showcases what’s possible for devices in the future in terms of supporting carrier aggregation, which is an important part of customer experience.Greg McCall, BT
Mark Atkinson, SVP for Radio Access Networks PLM at Nokia, added: “We are once again delighted to be deepening our partnership with BT, supporting them with our industry-leading CA technology for this trial. Nokia and BT have a long history in investing in cutting-edge technologies and this trial is another example of what our companies can achieve together.”