Azerbaijan mobile carrier AzQtel (branded as Sazz) will build the country's first 'Pre-5G' network, operating on the TDD LTE standard, said Jeyhun Mollazade, head of Sazz.
Mollazade said that Israel’s Telrad Networks company is the equipment supplier, the contract with which was signed this autumn.
"Telrad Networks has proved itself as a supplier of high-quality and reliable equipment,” he said. “We have already installed about six access points in Baku. These are powerful six-sector stations. Each of them is capable of ensuring data transmission at a speed of 600 Mbps."
“We intend to apply Dual Carrier technology in 2018, which will double the speed of each sector,” he said. “According to Telrad Networks roadmap for 2018, one sector through Carrier Aggregation will be able to ensure 1 Gbps, which can already be attributed to 5G technology."
Gigabit LTE is typically implemented using LTE-A Pro technologies such as Massive MIMO / 4X4 MIMO and 256QAM modulation.
Orit Ginzburg, Vice President Sales CEE, CIS ,ME at Telrad Networks, appreciated cooperation with Sazz company, stressing its important role in the technological development of the Azerbaijani telecommunications market.
"The Azerbaijani telecommunications market is rapidly developing,” she said. “New technologies are appearing and the quality is improving. I am very pleased that Telrad Networks is also contributing to this development by acting as a technology vendor. Our partner in Azerbaijan is Sazz, with which we are going to launch the first network of Pre 5G in Baku.”
The road map of Sazz is called "One Step to 5G". Sazz is the only operator in Azerbaijan that builds a TD-LTE network and positions itself as a company rendering a fixed wireless access service, replacing the company's existing WiMAX network.
"For many vendors WiMAX has smoothly switched to TD-LTE,” he said. “It will be launched by Sazz in Baku from January 2018 at a starting speed of 100 Mbit/s and then we will develop it to 1 Gbps. In the first quarter of 2018, the territory of the Absheron Peninsula will be covered by the TD-LTE network."
Sazz already offers its subscribers to use modems with dual chips - WiMAX and TD-LTE to move from one technology to another smoothly. In this case, subscribers willing to use TD-LTE will have to get a SIM card.