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Ericsson, Qualcomm in African Gigabit Class LTE first

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Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies are the first to successfully demonstrate over-the-air Gigabit Class LTE in Africa using licensed spectrum.
To put that speed in perspective, Gigabit Class LTE means up to one billion bits of information delivered to a mobile device in a mere second. In technical terms, that’s LTE Category 16.
Peak data speeds over 900Mbps were recorded at AfricaCom, using Ericsson Radio Access Network equipment and a Qualcomm(r) Snapdragon X16 LTE modem mobile test device.
“This achievement of Gigabit Class LTE download speeds is an important milestone on the road to Africa’s first 5G networks,” says James Munn, vice-president: sub-Saharan Africa at Qualcomm.
While smartphone ownership continues to increase exponentially with consumers still restricted by a lack of fixed broadband availability, mobile broadband is the most common way to connect to the internet in Africa.
Ericsson Radio System’s multi-standard platform enables African operators to cost-effectively leverage the reach, maturity and increasing affordability of today’s 4G technology, while laying the foundation for their LTE Advanced and 5G evolution.
The Snapdragon X16 LTE modem is the first processor from Qualcomm Technologies to support LTE Advanced Pro, the next generation of LTE. It supports 4x carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO, 256 QAM, and Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technologies and has the potential to expand the number of operators that can offer Gigabit Class LTE service to their customers.
Jean-Claude Geha, head of region sub-Saharan Africa at Ericsson, says: “We strongly believe that we can contribute and support African operators to develop a sustainable African telecommunications industry where mobile communication dominates. We are proud to continue with our longstanding relationship with Qualcomm Technologies, to demonstrate the Ericsson platform leading to future 5G deployments in Africa.”