Vodafone UK and Huawei trialling 4.5G TDD+ with LTE TDD

27 July 2016 | Jason McGee-Abe


Vodafone UK and Huawei have disclosed that they are conducting technical trials of 4.5G (TDD+) with LTE TDD to significantly increase the capacity and efficiency of the operator’s 4G network in urban areas, as well as lay the foundations for the introduction of 5G by 2020.

The trial, taking place in Manchester, involves 4x4 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) techniques in order to deliver mobile data services at much greater speeds and with improved accuracy. Eight-way transmit and receive (8T8R) beamforming concentrates the user-specific energy and multiplexes the resource between different users, thus increasing the average as well as the edge performance.

“We are working hard with our radio network equipment partners to ensure our network is future-proofed for the expected arrival of 5G in four to five years’ time, whilst continually improving our 4G performance for customers throughout the UK,” said Jorge Fernandes, Vodafone UK’s chief technology officer.

Unlike traditional methods of transmitting mobile signals between base stations and mobiles, “beam forming and four-way receiver diversity significantly improve performance in heavily built up areas, by combining the signals from multiple angles and co-located antennas in order to reduce interference and improve throughput,” said Huawei.

By combining MIMO with beamforming, Vodafone is better able to focus customers’ mobile signals in specific directions to ensure the best user experience and minimise interference during peak times in highly populated areas.

Huawei LTE TDD president, Veni Shone, added: “This joint innovation with Vodafone has proved that 4.5G (TDD+) is a good solution to release the potential of TDD spectrum and will help Vodafone build the most advanced LTE network available.”