STC claims first 5G carrier aggregation

STC claims first 5G carrier aggregation

Saudi operator STC hailed successful trials, in collaboration with Ericsson and MediaTek, to demonstrate the first global 5G carrier aggregation using low and mid-band spectrum, a move illustrating its 5G network development.

In a statement, Khaled Al Dharrab, STC Infrastructure Sector VP, said the trials were “world-leading” and pledged the company will continue to innovate to support government plans to diversify the Saudi economy.

STC demonstrated new radio (NR) time division duplex (TDD) and frequency division duplex (FDD) carrier aggregation using Ericsson Spectrum Sharing (ESS) in the FDD band on the MediaTek Dimensity 5G chipset.

The operator explained the combination of NR FDD 700MHz and NR TDD 3.6GHz boosts coverage and capacity. It used NR FDD 700MHz with Ericsson Spectrum Sharing solutions to enable spectrum sharing between 5G NR and LTE to streamline spectrum use in the mid-band.

Mathias Johansson, Ericsson Middle East and Africa VP and Head of Saudi Arabia and Egypt added: “By combining low-band spectrum with mid-band we help STC to deploy a better 5G and ensure the best user experience.”

STC also established a non-standalone 5G data call by aggregating 20MHz (shared with LTE using ESS) on FDD spectrum, and 100MHz on TDD spectrum in live network conditions Riyadh. The operator also enabled NSA Dual Connectivity to aggregate two LTE carriers using 40MHz total bandwidth.

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