Mobile internet connections like LTE and 3G are thankfully covering most of South Africa, but more often than not the biggest stumbling block in connecting to a decent signal is being indoors – like in a mall or office tower.
Well, that is slowly changing as MTN announced yesterday that it has managed to achieve the fastest indoor mobile data service in South Africa by using LTE-Advanced technology (LTE-A).
The mobile operator managed to get speeds of up to 1 Gbps, and not only is it the fastest in the country, it is also the first Gigabit per second speed ever recorded in South Africa using a mobile broadband connection.
If you recall, this isn’t the first time that MTN has done tests like these. In April it achieved speeds of 200Mbps on LTE-Unlimited. Its slightly different technology, but it is still impressive.
But MTN couldn’t have done it by itself, and it did need a bit of help in the form of Huawei’s latest small cell Lampsite product. According to the operator, it aggregates two unlicensed LTE 5GHz carriers (40MHz) with one licensed LTE 2100MHz carrier (15MHz), and combines this with MIMO and modulation schemes.
“The success of this LTE-Advanced deployment is a giant leap forward for mobile broadband technology in South Africa, and demonstrates the potential that mobile broadband technologies can achieve if additional spectrum is allocated to mobile network operators,” MTN said in a media statement.
MTN acting Chief Technology Officer Krishna Chetty said that the company has been preparing for this speed test for a while.
“MTN has been upgrading base stations and our fibre-optic transmission network in preparation for this launch. It’s great to claim another South African first for MTN with the trial towards building a 4.5G network. It is even more pleasing that we’ve done this ahead of many other advanced economies around the world.”
This is great news for mobile internet users everywhere. While the technology isn’t ready for commercial application just yet, it will one day come in very handy.