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LTE-A carrier aggregation to deliver faster data rates

Posted: 27 Nov 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Rohde & Schwarz? Samsung? LTE-A? carrier aggregation? 4G?

Rohde & Schwarz and Samsung have announced the first test of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) downlink carrier aggregation that lets several wireless providers share a transmission channel. Defined in 3GPP Release 10, carrier aggregation is a technology where up to five carriers, 20MHz wide, can share a 100MHz wireless data channel using frequency-division multiplexing.

3GPP Release 10 defines three types of carrier aggregation: intra-band contiguous carrier aggregation; intra-band non-contiguous carrier aggregation and inter-band non-contiguous carrier aggregation.

LTE-A carrier aggregation

LTE-A carrier aggregation creates a 100MHz bandwidth from five 20MHz channels.

The need for carrier aggregation stems from the fact that wireless providers are assigned 20MHz bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. But, that leave can gaps of unused spectrum because a service provider's carriers aren't contiguous. Carrier aggregation fills those gaps so that one base station can transmit and receive carriers from different service providers, making better use of available spectrum.

According to the announcement, the test was performed on a Samsung internal test device containing a Samsung SHANNON300 modem chipset as the DUT. A Rohde & Schwarz LTE-A-capable CMW500 wideband radio communication tester performed the test.

Three types of carrier aggregation

Carrier aggregation combines inter-channel and intra-channel contiguous and non-contiguous bands, each 20MHz wide.

Carrier aggregation is just one technology needed to bring 1Gb/s downlink data rates to every mobile device. The complete package of what will be the real 4G wireless technology (as opposed to what service providers marketing departments have termed 4G) will come when wireless devices and base stations use multiple-input multiple-output technology (MIMO). MIMO uses multiple antennas to maximize radio signals, thus increasing bandwidth and data rates over today's single antenna systems.

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