Optus has combined 5G FDD 2100MHz and 5G TDD 3500 MHz, allowing for the simultaneous use of both 5G and 4G, enabling faster data speeds.
It achieved this by using 5G carrier aggregation and spectrum sharing technology, working with Ericsson and Samsung in a test at a live 5G site on non-stand-alone architecture in Sydney using a Samsung S21 device.
FDD, frequency division duplex, and TDD, time division duplex, are different approaches to two-way transmission. FDD is a fixed bandwidth that dedicates a portion to upload, a portion to downloads, and a portion to a guard between them. TDD dedicates its entire bandwidth to either upload or download using minuscule time delays as a guard.
By synchronising these two, greater coverage and speeds can be attained (pdf).
“The deliberate and clever combination of our spectrum assets means that we are able to pull through the benefits of increased coverage thanks to the 2100Mhz band, coupled with the improved capacity offered by the 3500Mhz spectrum,” said Optus networks managing director Lambo Kanagaratnam.
“This is important as increased coverage, capacity and speed will enable even more customers to enjoy the benefits of our super-fast 5G network for data-hungry apps, high-resolution video-streaming, large file downloads and other data-centric, cloud-based applications.
“We have focused on futureproofing our 5G rollout from the outset which, together with our partners, has allowed us to provide our customers with a fast and flexible 5G network that is paving the way for the delivery of exciting new 5G experiences in both the consumer and enterprise market.”
Ericsson’s head of global customer unit Singtel Martin Wiktorin added, “With 8.8 billion 5G subscriptions forecasted globally by 2026, this achievement ensures that Australians will continue to have access to the best 5G technology.”
Optus currently has more than 1000 5G sites across Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra as well as key areas outside of these cities.