Ericsson, China Mobile demo LTE TDD three carrier aggregation

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and China Mobile are claiming an industry first with the live demonstration of LTE TDD three carrier aggregation, including 256 QAM modulation scheme to increase speeds even more.

The demonstration was performed in Beijing with commercially available LTE and Evolved Packet Core software and the multi-standard RBS 6000 base station from Ericsson, making it the industry's first successful demonstration of the technology based on commercial products, according to a press release. The demonstration reached the theoretical LTE downlink throughput limit of 426 Mbps with TDD mode.

"This is an important step in the evolution of LTE to deliver even higher bitrates and further increase system capabilities for improved app coverage and best user experience," Chris Houghton, head of Region North East Asia at Ericsson, said in the release.

Ericsson says the success of the demonstration proves the maturity of the technology. With the commercial launch of LTE TDD three carrier aggregation and the latest enhancement to modulation schemes, 256 QAM, operators with LTE TDD spectrum bands will be able to significantly enhance their network speed, efficiency and coverage.

Carriers in the U.S. also are pursuing carrier aggregation. Sprint (NYSE: S) has said it aims to test three-channel carrier aggregation by the end of this year and begin deployments shortly thereafter. The carrier already has started rolling out two channel aggregation in its 2.5 GHz spectrum, providing increases in speeds of 125 Mbps to 135 Mbps in markets like Chicago and San Francisco.

Because LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) is so closely associated with two-carrier aggregation, some analysts believe three-carrier aggregation may be more closely associated with what some in the industry are calling 4.5G technology, going beyond LTE but not quite 5G, which has yet to be officially defined.

For more:
- see the release

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