Operator paving the way for 5G by aggregating three carriers, rolling out 4×4 MIMO, 256 QAM.

Vodafone Portugal this week reached 1 Gbps over LTE in a demonstration with hardware partners Ericsson and Qualcomm.

The operator said in a statement on Thursday that the throughput was achieved by aggregating three carriers, and by deploying 4×4 multiple input, multiple output (MIMO), and 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) – a signal modulation scheme that supports higher data rates.

The demonstration saw Vodafone transmit files to a test device equipped with Qualcomm’s X16 LTE modem, based on LTE category 16 (cat 16), which supports Gigabit LTE.

"This is another milestone in Vodafone Portugal’s innovation history, which, by enhancing its investment in its next-generation mobile network, has helped to significantly improve the users’ telecommunications experience, bringing more advanced technology to its customers," said Vodafone Portugal.

Last week, Australian incumbent Telstra revealed that it will begin offering a commercial gigabit LTE service from the end of February.

To enjoy the highest speeds on offer, customers will need to get their hands on Netgear’s Nighthawk M1 mobile hotspot, which is equipped with the aforementioned Qualcomm X16 modem.