Ericsson said Swisscom is the first operator in Europe to launch three-carrier aggregation combining LTE FDD and TDD modes in a commercial network on chipsets available from Qualcomm.
The nation's wireless carriers are expected to put the finishing touches on their respective LTE coverage buildouts, and then will use techniques including small cells and carrier aggregation to add density and capacity to their networks, according to industry experts. Specifically, Sprint and Verizon Wireless have pointed to both small cells and carrier aggregation as elements of their respective network buildout strategies for the remainder of this year.
Verizon Wireless is currently deploying 4x4 MIMO (multiple input and multiple output) technology, involving 4 transmitters and 4 receivers, which the carrier said should enhance both its coverage and improve its LTE network performance. Mike Haberman, Verizon's VP of network support, also said the operator is actively deploying carrier aggregation technology in its 20x20 MHz spectrum channels and expects the effort will allow it to offer spectrum channels wider than a 20x20 MHz configuration in the future, which Haberman said would allow Verizon to offer faster peak wireless download speeds in the future.
Sprint has started actively deploying two-carrier carrier aggregation technology on its 2.5 GHz spectrum in dozens of major markets across the country to deliver faster speeds for customers, according to an internal Sprint document posted on Reddit by a Reddit-verified Sprint employee.
TDC began deploying LTE Advanced (LTE-A) carrier aggregation technology across its network in Denmark in a move the operator said would deliver peak data speeds of 300 Mbps on the downlink.
Nokia Networks and Saudi Arabian operator Zain KSA said they have completed the first trial of LTE carrier aggregation in the Middle Eastern country, as part of a network upgrade project.
Singapore's second largest mobile operator, StarHub, has successfully demonstrated 600 Mbps peak download speeds using Nokia Networks' 4X4 MIMO technology with LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation.
Not everybody in the wireless industry is keen to use the term "4.5G," but FierceWirelessTech decided to informally survey some of the industry's biggest vendors to see what they have to say about it.
Carrier aggregation will pick up as the speed war, fueled by the never ending RootMetrics reports and the subsequent carrier press releases and earnings call citations. AT&T and Verizon's network transformations are "skating to where the puck will be" in an effort to become more agile and drive down costs. So far smaller Sprint and T-Mobile haven't seen this need. There's no doubt that more changes will come about this year.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said that the company is finalizing plans for a massive densification of its network using the company's 2.5 GHz spectrum. Called the "Sprint Next Generation Network," the plan calls for a balance of small cells and macrocells and promises an improvement to both network speed and capacity.