Telefonica, Vodafone testing LTE Advanced carrier aggregation

Following the lead of EE in the United Kingdom, fellow European operators Telefonica and Vodafone have jumped on the LTE Advanced carrier aggregation bandwagon with testing underway in Germany.

Telefonica is conducting carrier aggregation tests in Munich, while Vodafone is doing the same  in Dresden. Earlier this month, EE switched on carrier aggregation in an area of the UK capital called London Tech City and is letting selected companies trial the technology until its commercial launch next year.

According to TechHive,  EE is using 2x20 MHz channels to deliver speeds up to 300 Mbps. Telefonica and Vodafone are each combining a single 10 MHz channel plus one 20MHz channel for up to 225 Mbps.

TechHive noted EE's carrier aggregation trial is being conducted with a Huawei router. The UK operator does not expect to receive commercially available routers until mid 2014, with slated for arrival in the second half of the year.

In October, Vivendi-owned SFR said it completed the first trials of LTE A technology in France, achieving download speeds of up to 174 Mbps thanks to carrier aggregation of spectrum in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands.

The first operator in the world to commercially launch carrier aggregation was South Korea's SK Telecom, which introduced the service during June. The operator aggregated 10 MHz of its 1.8 GHz spectrum with 10 MHz of 800 MHz spectrum to form an effective bandwidth of 20 MHz, enabling peak downlink data speeds up to 150 Mbps.

U.S. mobile operators also intend to adopt LTE Advanced carrier aggregation, both inter-band and intra-band. Most recently, Sprint (NYSE:S)  said its Spark initiative will eventually employ intra-band carrier aggregation in the 2.5 GHz band to deliver peak downlink speeds reaching at least 50-60 Mbps in that band.

For more:
- see this TechHive article

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