Qualcomm, Huawei, and EE complete LTE Category 9

Chip-maker Qualcomm, network vendor Huawei, and UK mobile operator EE, have announced today the completion of interoperability testing of LTE Category 9 which features download speeds of up to 410 Mbps. The test used Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 810 processor with integrated LTE-A modem, Huawei's commercial infrastructure solution, and was conducted over EE's '4G+' network.

It's not clear when Huawei and EE intend to launch LTE Cat9 capabilities, but it won't be until Qualcomm start to roll-out their latest chips

LTE CAT9 enables 3-carrier downlink aggregation which allowed testers to aggregate 20MHz of 1800MHz spectrum with another 20MHz of 2.6GHz, and a third carrier of 15MHz of 2.6GHz. “Working closely with the excellent teams at Qualcomm Technologies and Huawei on the next generation LTE Category 9 connectivity enables us to make full use of our spectrum holdings,” said Tom Bennett, director of network services and devices at EE.

He continues: "Use of our remaining 15MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum enables both our fastest speeds and an increase in capacity across our network and this successful testing phase is a big step forward."

Yang Chaobin, chief marketing officer of Huawei Wireless Network Business Unit, says: “Huawei is dedicated to improving network capability across the UK – delivering fast speeds and more reliable connection to all mobile devices. This test is a truly groundbreaking moment as we move towards the 5G era. This LTE Category 9 interoperability test is the first successfully announced trial of its kind in Europe and we’re proud to be working alongside Qualcomm Technologies and EE to drive future networks.”

Next-generation LTE Category 9 connectivity enables us to make full use of our spectrum holdings

It's not the first time EE and Huawei have partnered-up to innovate on LTE technology. In 2012, the two companies worked together to launch the UK's first 4G network. It's not clear when Huawei and EE intend to launch LTE Cat9 capabilities, but it won't be until Qualcomm start to roll-out their latest chips to new devices in early-2015.

“We are excited to work with EE and Huawei in ushering in the latest evolution of wireless connectivity,” said Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president & president of Qualcomm Europe.  “Transitioning from Category 6 to Category 9 LTE-A connectivity will mean 1.5x faster peak download speeds, swift application response times, reliable connectivity and connections to the fastest networks.”

Do you think Cat9 signals a significant step for LTE? Let us know in the comments.

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