Nokia, MediaTek hit 3.2 Gbps in sub-6 GHz carrier aggregation trial

5G speed
The trial used commercial Nokia AirScale gear and MediaTek's M80 chipset. (Getty Images)

Nokia and MediaTek fired up a carrier aggregation trial that used sub-6 GHz spectrum to reach end-user speeds of 3.2 Gbps.

The test combined different frequency channels – lower band FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) 600 MHz and mid-band TDD (Time Division Duplex) 2600 MHz band 41 spectrum. It used 3 Component Carrier (3CC) aggregation combining 210MHz of FDD and TDD spectrum.

It’s not the first time Nokia and MediaTek teamed together on carrier aggregation that melds FDD and TDD sub-6 GHz spectrum. In August the Finnish vendor claimed a “worlds first” for CA when it pooled spectrum in the 700 MHz and 3500 MHz bands in Taiwan Mobile’s commercial 5G network.

Carrier aggregation was deployed as a feature of 4G LTE-Advanced and is now a target for 5G as the technique helps operators get more out of their spectrum by stitching together separate channels.

Nokia highlighted that the mix of low-band and higher mid-band 5G spectrum using CA bring together respective capabilities of broader coverage with higher capacity and throughput. Improved coverage and faster speeds with carrier aggregation can be useful for 5G indoor deployments or expanded outdoor reach, the vendor noted.  

The trial used Nokia’s AirScale 5G gear and standalone cloud-native 5G core alongside MediaTek’s latest M80 5G modem on a user equipment testing platform.  

RELATED: Ericsson, MediaTek notch 495 Mbps uplink with mmWave and carrier aggregation

“This test demonstrates the importance of carrier aggregation in enabling mobile operators around the world to deliver best-in-class speed and capacity to their subscribers,” said JS Pan, general manager of Wireless Communication System and Partnerships at MediaTek, in a statement. “The combination of Nokia’s AirScale portfolio and our technology boosts the possibilities of spectrum assets and 5G networks.”

Mark Atkinson, SVP of radio access networks PLM at Nokia, noted in the press announcement that high-capacity CA combinations can happen in both standalone and non-standalone 5G architectures with the vendor’s latest baseband set up.

MediaTek also participated in recent carrier aggregation trials with Ericsson, where the focus was on uplink. The partners used mmWave spectrum in the 39 GHz band with one 20-megartz channel of LTE to notch total peak uplink throughput of 495 Mbps – double current commercial uplink speeds.

RELATED: Verizon hits 4.3 Gbps in C-band, mmWave trial

Other 5G carrier aggregation tests have touted super-fast downlink speeds – like in May when Verizon, MediaTek and Ericsson hit 4.3 Gbps in a lab trial. That demo involved C-band spectrum in the 3.7 GHz range and mmWave, the latter which is well known for wide channels and a lot of bandwidth.

MediaTek’s M80 chipset, which mmWave and sub-6 GHz capabilities, was a common element.

Qualcomm has been another familiar face in CA trials. The chipmaker’s X65 modem, unveiled in February, supports spectrum aggregation across 5G mmWave and sub-6 GHz using FDD and TDD.