Ooredoo has announced yesterday a massive upgrade on its mobile network all over Myanmar.
According to the press release, more than 15 million customers across 200 towns will be able to enjoy high speed 4G by end of 2017.
The new technology baptized “4G Pro” is said to be three time faster than the existing 4G wireless technology currently deployed in Myanmar.
Last month, Ooredoo was sadly elected the slowest mobile network in Myanmar well behind MPT and Telenor according to a report from Speednet.net. The Qatar-based operator is determined to turn this corner and start a fresh page with this massive network upgrade.
Ooredoo announces that its new network will allow customers to enjoy Internet as fast as 500 Mbps. To reach such speed, the mobile operator is relying on the latest LTE-Advanced technology features such as carrier aggregation, 256QAM, 4×4 MIMO and License Assisted Access (LAA).
This is one of the major features of LTE-Advanced which allows mobile network operators to combine a number of separate LTE carriers.
Last year, Ooredoo launched 4G by re-farming its 3G spectrum allocation in 2100 Mhz. Our assumption is that the mobile operator allocated 2×5 Mhz for its 4G launch.
In 2017, PTD allocated the three operators an additional span of 2×10 mhz in 1800 Mhz enabling them to launch or re-launch their LTE network.
Carrier aggregation will enable Ooredoo to combine spectrum in 1800 Mhz and 2100 Mhz frequencies to provide higher throughput to customers who own compatible handsets.
QAM refers to Quadrature Amplitude Modulation which is the means by which a carrier signal transmits data and information. 16-QAM, 64-QAM, and 256-QAM are all related to LTE. Higher QAM schemes such as 1024-QAM are now being considered for the future evolution of LTE/LTE-Advanced Pro and 5G.
The higher the QAM, the higher the bandwidth. Once again, customers that want to take the best advantage of this feature will need a compatible smartphone.
In radio, multiple-input and multiple-output, or MIMO, is a method for multiplying the capacity of a radio link using multiple transmit and receive antennas to exploit multipath propagation.
MPT already advertised widely to be the first 4×4 MIMO network in Myanmar. Ooredoo, with this new press release claim that it will compete on equal terms with MPT, at least on paper. Once again, you would need a compatible handset.
License Assisted Access (LAA):
This is an interesting feature and previously unseen in the market. License Assisted Access is an LTE feature that leverages the 5 GHz unlicensed band in combination with licensed spectrum to deliver a performance boost for mobile device users.
71 times the average mobile speed on Ooredoo wireless network
Thanks to the new toys, Ooredoo bold claim is to reach an impressive speed of 500 Mbps… Which is basically 71 times the average mobile speed on Ooredoo if we trust the recent statistics from Speedtest.net.
According to the LTE calculation tool from the blog the 8 layers, we managed to cross-check this statement. It appears that to reach 500 Mbps of data rate with 4×4 MIMO and 256QAM, the mobile operator will have to aggregate a span of 2x20mhz. Knowing that the operator owns only 2x10Mhz in 1800mhz, it will have to find an additional chunk of 2x10mhz somewhere else. This could come from its diverse allocations in 900mhz or 2100mhz boosted by unlicensed spectrum.
According to the press release, Nokia and ZTE have the hard task to deliver the promises done by Mr. Vikram Sinha, CEO of Ooredoo Myanmar that declared to the press:
“Our goal is to enable our customers to enjoy the internet more by offering them higher speeds and enhancing their daily data experience. Our continuous investments in the network bring us closer to making the highest theoretical speeds a daily reality to our customers and put Ooredoo Myanmar on an evolutionary path to 5G.”
It is with high curiosity and an ounce of skepticism that we are looking forward to benchmarking this new LTE 4G wireless network. Will Ooredoo turn into Santa this year?
Have you noticed any significant speed improvement with Ooredoo? Use Speedcheck.org to find out how fast your mobile Internet is.
Herbert is a nom de plume.
I am an experienced telecom professional blogging about the fastest growing Internet market in the world: Myanmar.