Carrier aggregation is the future of LTE-Advanced, says Agilent
Carrier aggregation, a wireless networking technique which uses multiple radio carriers to support higher mobile download speeds, is set to become an important element of future 4G mobile networks.
“Carrier aggregation represents the immediate future of LTE-Advanced cellular deployments,” said Joe DePond, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s Mobile Broadband Operation.
The maximum LTE-A down-stream data rate between a single basestation and a single handset is 300Mbit/s. Achieving this needs 100MHz of bandwidth, which no network operator has in one chunk of spectrum.
Instead, to get 100MHz, five 20MHz bands, called ‘component carriers’ have to share the data load.
Carrier aggregation is the capability required at both basestation and handset to split and re-combine one stream of data packets across multiple component carriers, or many streams of packets (total 300Mbit/s max.) to multiple handsets across multiple carriers.
Carriers will be re-allocated once every 1ms. In initial LTE-A implementations – as even LTE-A is not one single thing, but a series of staged feature introductions – only two component carriers will be aggregated.
Agilent Technologies has software options for the T4010S LTE RF and T4020S LTE RRM test systems, which provide coverage for LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation test cases as defined by the 3GPP.
The T4000S series test systems are used to stress-test their designs and prepare for certification prior to deployment.
The enhancements make it possible to perform several of the required MIMO and fading tests, with two downlink component carriers, with just a single instrument delivering the most compact and scalable LTE-Advanced solution test set available.
See: What is LTE-Advanced