While EE just launched a whole Cat 6 LTE network with 300 Mbps in London, Telefónica O2 Germany announced the launch of - well - Germany's fastest LTE radio cell at the Telefónica building in Munich. Speeds up to a data transmission rate of 225 Mbps are achieved. As Telefónica said in its press release, it achieved this enormous transmission rates because the base stations in question provide up to 150 Mbps in the 2.6-GHz band and up to 75 Mbps at 800 MHz. By combining these data streams, download speeds of up to 225 Mbps were reached. While the used new category 6 (Cat 6) LTE devices are yet not commercially available, Telefónica used prototypes from Huawei.
Telefónica uses a new technology that also serves as a basis for the coming LTE standard: LTE Carrier Aggregation. This technology will also be one of the main components of the upcoming LTE Advanced stadard. For this, the device connects to different O2 radio cells simultaneously sending at two different carrier frequencies. And while no devices are available today, Huawei it said it expects and plans to present the first commercial Cat-6 devices in the first half of next year. Nevertheless, Telefónica has not unveiled a commercial launch date and roll-out plan for its Cat 6 LTE upgrade.
In other news, Telefónica also also announced the commercial launch of Voice over LTE. Back in February, Telefónica already achieved the breakthrough by being the first carrier in the world which demonstrated handovers from the LTE network to the UMTS or GSM mobile network without interruption under real-world conditions, using components from different suppliers (multi-vendor environment). From today, O2's new VoLTE technology for LTE-voice calls is available at several base stations and can now be used within the O2 live network. O2 Germany expects that in December the technically difficult handover to 2G and 3G will also be working. It is only necessary to have a suitable VoLTE device and to be activated as a user. In the coming weeks, staff from the network department will be testing the new technology under real-world conditions.
Cheers ~ Arne