Vodafone has activated three separate 4G spectrum bands – 2600MHz, 1800MHz, and 700MHz – on a cell site in Northcote. This theoretically creates three times the capacity of a single spectrum site, though actual speeds could vary depending on the number of users, device capability and radio conditions.
On the same site, Vodafone has launched carrier aggregation technology, combining spectrum from 1800MHz and 2600MHz frequency bands to boost speed and capacity.
The move follows the company’s launch of dual-band 4G in a single site in Auckland’s CBD in May this year.
Vodafone director of technology, Sandra Pickering, says tri-band carrier aggregation is an important investment to future-proof the network.
“We’re forecasting 4G mobile data traffic to grow by as much as 1200 percent in the next three years alone, so increased speed and capacity are vital for mobile operators to continue to deliver a consistently high-quality network experience.
“With tri-band 4G on a site, multiple users will be able to employ in excess of 350Mbps throughput capacity – the total capacity available at any given time – while our carrier aggregation of 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands will deliver speeds in excess of 250Mbps to a single user,” she said.
Pickering added, “4G will eventually become the primary mobile technology, and the true measure of our network success will be 4G with lower latency, and faster upload and download speeds. This can only be achieved with more efficient use of spectrum, which is exactly what we’ve done at Northcote. It’s all about continuing to be the network smartphones are made for.”
Vodafone expects to have carrier aggregation devices commercially available on its network by the end of this year, or early 2015. Currently the HTC One M8 is the only commercially available 4G-capable device that supports 700MHz.