Faster Wireless Networks: This New Technology lets 2G and 4G-LTE coexist

cellular tower

telecom-towerAs cellular networks get faster and faster, they all rely on that spectrum that regulators have to dish out. In a country like Uganda with more than 5 GSM operators, this new technology will come as a much-needed relief and to fasten data speeds. Today Vodafone and Huawei Technologies have successfully tested this technology that will let LTE and GSM share the same frequencies.

All fast mobile networks should have a big chunk of spectrum and the more they get, the wider the roads they can build. In some countries, operators have to reuse frequencies that are now used for older technologies such as GSM and 3G. Since operators still have a lot of voice and SMS traffic in those older networks, it still posses a big challenge. And one fact is clear, 2G and 3G traffic isn’t going away for a long time, irrespective of the level of competition from Internet-based services.

The technology is called GL DSS (GSM-LTE Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) and will allow GSM and LTE to coexist and breathes a fresh life into 2G networks that were predicted to come to end of life soon.


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In a traditional mobile network, operators allocate each technology an exclusive set of frequencies. For example, many operators, like MTN and Airtel, now hold more that 10MHz of spectrum at 1800 MHz in 2G. There is too much traffic on 2G and they cannot split this spectrum into two 5MHz chunks of which 5 MHz could be used for LTE and the rest for GSM traffic.

GL DSS lets Huawei’s SRC (Single Radio Controller) give GSM a higher priority during periods of heavy traffic, ensuring that voice calls get though without interruption. But the same radio technology can also provide more room for LTE when users aren’t making calls, allowing for better throughput, the vendor said on today.

This trial was done on Vodafone Spain’s commercial network, with LTE capacity gains of up to 50 percent, according to Huawei. That equals another 32.5Mbps of bandwidth, on paper. Smartphones and other devices with a cellular connection don’t have to be upgraded for the technology to work. We hope this much needed technology hits the pearl of Africa soon.


  • Eristaus

    Okay! This is some good news at least we don’t have to redo the entire Telecom infrastructure. On when it comes to East Africa… I’ll keep hoping. One question I have though is how does this tie in with Google’s project link?

    • roger bambino

      Google’ project link provides backhaul capacity to the wireless networks… The relationship is slight…