Vodafone Portugal claims bragging rights to 600MBps after trials

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Vodafone Portugal is claiming a European first after it demonstrated speeds of 600MBps on its network by using tri-band carrier aggregation.

The operator partnered with Ericsson and Qualcomm on the trial, which used three aggregated 60MHz bands with 256QAM modulation. The technology used can boost downlink speeds by up to 30 percent, it added.

The lab tests come less than 12 months after it trialled 450MBps with the same partners. It said the new benchmark speeds would allow users to open a web page instantly or download a 1GB video in Ultra HD/4K in around 15 seconds.

In a statement, Vodafone Portugal said: "This is another milestone in the history of innovation by Vodafone Portugal which reinforces its commitment to changing people’s lives, enhancing investment in its next generation mobile network and bringing the most advanced technology to its customers."

Last month the operator became the first to launch a FDD/TDD network commercially in Europe.

While devices will not be widely available until later in 2015, the operator said the aggregation of 15MHz of FDD 1800MHz and 20MHz of TDD 2600MHz spectrum would "significantly" improve customer performance.

Recent research has shown how LTE is finally living up to its potential as more operators launch carrier aggregation and HD voice services. A report from Infonetics found half of its sample size has launched LTE-A.

Separate findings from the GSA revealed 422 LTE networks are now live across 143 countries, with 106 launched during the past 12 months.