The system has also added support for carrier aggregation with unlicensed frequency bands as used for LTE-LAA (Licence Assisted Access), a major feature of 3GPP Release 13.
LTE-LAA is a technology for carrier aggregation of LTE with a secondary cell in the unlicensed band, normally the 5GHz band that is already used by WLAN.
In order to be able to coexist with WLAN devices in the same band without causing contention issues, LTE-LAA uses a protocol known as listen-before-talk (LBT), which is mandatory in Europe.
LTE-U is a similar technology that is already being used in SE Asia, without the use of LBT.
The Release 12 feature line-up includes LTE TDD-FDD carrier aggregation and 256 QAM, which were both announced last year.
The TM500 also now supports carrier aggregation with unlicensed spectrum in the 5GHz WLAN band, as used by LTE Unlicensed (LTE-U) and LTE-LAA. This increases the available bandwidth and gives the user the benefit of higher 4G LTE data rates.