STC, Nokia and MediaTek have revealed a joint effort to verify 3 Component Carrier Aggregation (3CC-CA) in a 5G standalone network for the first time in the Middle East, a method to optimally combine spectrum assets to enhance 5G experiences.
The test was conducted in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Nokia explained in a statement, that carrier aggregation enables operators to achieve higher throughputs by combining the use of Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Time Division Duplex (TDD) spectrum.
This enables the enhancement of the 5G user experience and will allow STC to deliver leading 5G experiences and faster launches to the market of new 5G products.
For the test, the companies used 20MHz of FDD carrier and two TDD carriers to create 180MHz of spectrum using FDD-TDD CA technology. Nokia provided its AirScale Baseband, massive MIMO and RRH products, powered by its Reefshark chipset on STC’s live network. MediaTek provided its 5G mobile platform featuring its Release-16 ready, M80 modem.
A notable benefit of carrier aggregation is it will reduce the consumption of batteries in user devices on STC’s network.
STC infrastructure sector VP Bader Allhieb said: “This crucial, region-first trial of 3CC-CA in 5G SA mode reiterates our commitment to provide a world-class experience to our subscribers. Nokia's carrier aggregation solution gives us a competitive edge by providing best-in-class speed, capacity and coverage to our subscribers. We look forward to continuing our engagement with Nokia to enhance our 5G capabilities and efficiencies.”
Nokia Head of STC customer business team Khalid Hussain added: “Carrier aggregation allows service providers to make optimal use of spectrum without impacting the network performance.