Verizon, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies and Federated Wireless have engaged in the first demonstration of LTE Advanced carrier aggregation over spectrum in the Band 48 — Citizens Broadband Radio Service band 48. The news follows Qualcomm, Ericsson and Verizon successfully surpassing 1 gigabit LTE speeds.
The CBRS band is made up of 150 MHz of 3.5 GHz shared spectrum which until now has been primarily used by the federal government for radar systems. The FCC has authorized shared use of the band with wireless small cells. Using the LTE Advanced feature of carrier aggregation, the wireless system carried LTE using carrier aggregation. Federated Wireless provided the Spectrum Access System to dynamically prioritize traffic within the FCC’s spectrum sharing framework for this band.
The demo, set in an Ericsson lab in Plano, TX included the end-to-end CBRS communication flow, using 2×20 megahertz LTE carriers on the CBRS band 48, and employing a 256 QAM modulation in the downlink. Ericsson provided the band 48 Radio Dot System and Domain Proxy for communication with Federated SAS. Qualcomm Technologies provided a Qualcomm Snapdragon LTE modem test device, and Federated Wireless provided the spectrum management service with their Spectrum Controller.
Verizon, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies continue to push the LTE speed envelope breaking the Gigabit speed barrier. The companies achieved an industry first with commercial silicon and network infrastructure with 1.07 Gbps download speeds using the Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 LTE Modem during an Ericsson lab trial.
This 1.07 Gbps achievement builds on Verizon’s recent announcement about Gigabit LTE with support for License Assisted Access (LAA). Also of significance, the 1.07 Gbps speed was achieved using only three 20 megahertz carriers of (Frequency Division Duplex using separate transmit and receive frequencies) spectrum, achieving new levels of spectral efficiency for commercial networks and devices. These efficiencies will enable the delivery of the Gigabit class experience to more customers and lead to new wireless innovations.
The companies achieved the 1.07 Gbps industry milestone by using 12 simultaneous LTE streams, which allow for up to 20 percent increase in peak data rates and capacity with a corresponding improvement in average speeds. Ericsson’s Radio System and LTE software, in concert with a mobile test device based on the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, enabled these high speeds.
The lab tests also used 4×4 MIMO per carrier, 256 QAM per carrier, which enables customer devices and the network to exchange information in large amounts, delivering more bits of data in each transmission.
September 9, 2015 — It seems carrier aggregation (CA) technology is coming along. Just recently, Nokia Networks and Nordic mobile operator TeliaSonera conducted a live demonstration, in Finland, of LTE-A three-band carrier aggregation with Category nine devices. The companies claim the demo reached data rates of up to 375 Mbps using a commercial network.
The end-to-end demo, aggregated three LTE FDD carriers, two 20 megahertz, and one 10 megahertz. There are now plans to continue rolling out the advanced mobile service network-wide once compatible mobile devices, in sufficient volumes, become available.
It was a great integration of next-generation products, including Nokia Networks’ Single RAN Advanced platform, and a Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station. The two 20-megahertz carriers were in the 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands, while the 10-megahertz carrier was in the 800 MHz band.
If this holds water, customers will benefit from superfast multimedia applications, and services once the technology is rolled out commercially.
All eyes may be on the possible merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, but T-Mobile appears to be keeping its eye on something equally if not more important: improving its network.
As its network data use increased more than six times in the past two years, the carrier has advanced its LTE footprint to 230 million pops. At the same time, it has expanded wideband LTE — 15 megahertz by 15 megahertz — to 16 markets.
The carrier has now rolled out voice over LTE (VoLTE) in 15 markets covering more than 107 million people with the expectation to go nationwide by the end of this year.
“Because our network has been designed for data, we’re now able to nearly double the data that supports voice calls for superior, crystal-clear HD Voice,” said CTO Neville Ray in a blog post. “In fact, we offer the highest-fidelity HD Voice possible — 23.85 Kbps voice codec rate. VoLTE also offers faster call setup times than a non-VoLTE call, and customers are able to access our LTE network during a voice call.”
VoLTE, which debuted in Seattle last month, can now be found in Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Long Island, New York; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; New Jersey; New York; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.
This technology rollout is reportedly being funded by the breakup fee that T-Mobile received after the AT&T merger failed. Observers note that the $2 billion breakup fee that would be paid in the event of a failed Sprint/ T-Mobile merger might pay for the next round of LTE rollouts.
Carrier aggregation development, which has been accelerating in the last year, led to products that were all the rage at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona. Each promises giant leaps in data throughput.
Huawei’s demonstration of LTE-Advanced FDD+TDD convergence carrier aggregation across FDD and TDD LTE modes and Vodafone’s involvement are particularly interesting, according to Steven Hartley, principal analyst at Ovum.
“The benefit of CA across FDD and TDD LTE is that operators can combine cheaper TDD spectrum with more traditional FDD spectrum to boost capacity and downlink speeds,” Hartley said.
The demonstration, involving three FDD carriers and one TDD carrier, produced a single user peak downlink speed of an eye-popping 500 Mbps.
“In this case where partners are promising more than 500 Mbps, the cost efficiencies for an operator of leveraging the full range of spectrum assets available is unquestionable, but most operators have so far shied away from the technical complexities involved,” Hartley said.
Using Huawei’s technology, Vodafone combined 50 megahertz of FDD spectrum in the 800-MHz, 1800-MHz and 2600-MHz bands with its 20 megahertz of TDD spectrum in the 2600-MHz band in Spain.
Carrier aggregation speeds contrast glaringly with Vodafone’s 1800-MHz and 2600-MHz commercial LTE services, which were rolled out at the beginning of 2013 with a peak speed of 150 Mbps/user.
SK Telecom Demo Combines Three Channels
SK Telecom demonstrated LTE-Advanced by aggregating three bands at the Mobile World Congress. The carrier aggregation technology demonstration combined three 20-megahertz channels to offer speeds of up to 450 Mbps.
The Barcelona demonstration was only the latest in a rapid-fire string of new LTE-Advanced features from SK Telecom since last June. On Jan. 20, the carrier unveiled a wireless system that aggregates a 20-megahertz band and two 10-megahertz bands, supporting speeds of up to 300 Mbps. In November 2013, SK Telecom achieved throughput of 225 Mbps by aggregating a bandwidth of 20 megahertz in the 1.8-GHz band and a 10-megahertz channel at 800 MHz. In August 2013, the carrier combined a 20-megahertz downlink and a 15-megahertz uplink in the 1.8-GHz band; and in June, it combined a 10-megahertz channel in the 1.8-GHz band and a 10-megahertz channel in the 800-MHz band.
CA in Finland
Broadcom, Finnish carrier Elisa, and Nokia Solutions and Networks have demonstrated LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation on a live commercial network. The test aggregated two 20-megahertz channels in the 1800-MHz band and the 2600-MHz band to reach speeds of 300 Mbps.
Ted Abrams, Abrams Wireless, said that carrier aggregation is a milestone in spectral efficiency. But because it is only included in the latest version, Release 10, of the LTE-Advanced standard, it will take time to be rolled out to all U.S. networks.
“This gives all operators, large and small, the opportunity to harvest spectrum from various bands and carry broadband traffic through the air with an aggregated, composite carrier. Most of the LTE equipment deployed in the U.S.A. is Release 9, so it will be a while before all networks incorporate the carrier aggregation features of LTE-A,” he wrote.