Australia’s Optus has announced the launch of what it claims is the world’s first deployment of ‘3x Carrier Aggregation’ (‘3xCA’) using a unique combination of 20MHz+20MHz of 2300MHz spectrum and a 15MHz paired block in the 1800MHz band. On the back of ‘extensive development and testing’, the operator has confirmed the switch-on of the new infrastructure in the suburbs of Lambton, Mayfield and Mayfield West, all located in Newcastle, New South Wales, ahead of the commercial release of the first compatible category 9 devices in the country. Commenting on the development, Dennis Wong, Acting Managing Director Optus Networks, noted that mobile data download speeds of 317Mbps had been achieved on the live network using a category 9 device at Mayfield West in Newcastle, adding: ‘Aggregating 1x FDD [Frequency Division Duplex] + 2x TDD [Time Division Duplex] carriers on a commercial network with a commercial device is a world first for Optus. It is a more efficient use of our spectrum bands and will provide a more consistent and better experience for our customers.’ Looking ahead, the operator has said it plans to switch on 3xCA technology in the Melbourne central business district (CBD) in early September and roll out to the Sydney CBD early next year, followed by the Brisbane and Adelaide CBDs from mid-2016.
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