The demonstration did not take place in a laboratory, but outside. Telenet and ZTE achieved a download speed of 1.3 Gbps, setting a new European outdoor record. It isn't the first time that high speeds have been achieved with 4.5G in Belgium. However, those were reached in a test lab, which isn't always a realistic environment. With this kind of speed, it is possible to download the entire season of Chaussée d’Amour (13.3 GB) in HD in ninety seconds.
This demonstration is one of the first steps in the long-term partnership agreement Telenet has entered into with ZTE in order to make its mobile network future-proof. That needs to be done, because consumers' telecom behaviour will keep evolving radically in years to come. Mobile data usage is doubling every 12 months. According to Cisco, mobile data usage will be 8 times higher in 2020 than it is now.
Higher speed and capacity
That's why Telenet is already modernizing its network with ZTE's help. In 2017, the network in urban areas will support these high speeds. Several state-of-the-art category 9 smartphones, which can cope with speeds up to 450 Mbps, such as the iPhone 7, the iPhone 7 Plus and the Samsung S7, already support high speeds using MIMO and carrier aggregation.
"We at Telenet are very excited about the results of this test. The new speed record is an important milestone in itself, also paving the way to our future 5G networks. The 4.5G ZTE technology is faster and provides significantly higher capacity allowing mobile users' to enjoy further their mobile broadband experience, especially in areas with high mobile traffic," says Micha Berger, Telenet's CTO.
"The 1.3Gbps demo opens a new era of Telenet&ZTE's partnership in advanced wireless technology innovation. ZTE is willing to support Telenet to bring this cutting edge technology to end user and improve user experience, which will enhance Telenet's success in Belgium", says Patric Bin, ZTE Benelux’s CEO.
Motorway with extra lanes
4.5G technology boasts three important features. It uses 3-carrier aggregation, which means it can combine signals from different antennas. It also relies on 4x4 MIMO, which doubles the number of signals coming from a single frequency. Lastly, it also makes use of 256 QAM, a higher modulation which enhances quality and capacity. You could compare it to adding extra lanes to a motorway. Bandwidth becomes larger, so smartphone users aren't bothered by other traffic in busy times of the day.
4.5G technology can cope with applications requiring high download speeds or plenty of bandwidth. For example, 4.5G will enable users to stream ultra-high-definition videos, use virtual reality services or games, augmented reality tools or any other service that will require transferring large amounts of data.