Network speeds are on the rise! China Unicom with Ericsson have recently commercially launched a Gigabit LTE network, allowing subscribers to enjoy the services and benefits available with high-speed mobile broadband data.

According to Hao Liqian, General Manager, Hainan branch, China Unicom, this development is according to their strategy to offer the most advanced services to individuals and enterprises on the China Unicom network.

Interestingly, China Unicom launch ceremony used Virtual Reality on a high-speed train over a high-speed Gigabit LTE network to prove the worthiness of this launch. This is the Hainan Island high-speed train and the Gigabit wireless network is provided by Ericsson, China Unicom’s strategic partner and exclusive provider of the LTE broadcast solution. This is China’s first LTE broadcast commercial deployment.

Ericsson’s LTE broadcast solution targets to revolutionize video delivery in mobile networks. This is due to the combination of three new standards: eMBMS, HEVC (H.265) and MPEG DASH. For China’s Unicom project, Ericsson supported eMBMS in the high-speed train scenario so that passengers could enjoy high-definition video without buffering on the network.

Recently, Ericsson supported China Unicom in setting up a 1Gbps network in Guangdong, Hainan, Shandong, and Beijing with peak speeds of up to 979Mbps. With that speed, it takes just 13 seconds to download a 1080P high-definition movie. There are more on-going 1Gbps trials in Sichuan, Hubei, Shanxi, Jilin and Jiangsu province.

Gigabit LTE network technologies, explained

Gigabit LTE is an advanced form of LTE, the 4G wireless technology that the cellular carriers use to connect mobile devices.

It is named so because the connection speed peaks at 1 gigabit per second. This is the same speed that Google Fiber offers its landline-based internet connection. In other words, really, really fast.

It does not provide sustained 1 Gbps bandwidth, but 1 Gbps “peak” bandwith. It’s a theoretical benchmark that you’ll never actually get to in real-world situations.

Gigabit LTE has three important “ingredients”

  • 4×4 MIMO: having four antennas in the phone able to pick up different signals.
  • Carrier aggregation: takes different bands of radio frequencies (which mobile phones use to transmit data) and binds them together so your phone can pick up the speediest one available.
  • 256 QAM modulation: a form of modulation which is used for modulating data signals onto a carrier used for radio communication.