Ericsson drives 5G carrier aggregation milestones with key partners

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Ericsson has recently pushed 5G carrier aggregation (5G CA) technology to new levels after a series of successful interoperability tests with customers including T-Mobile and Optus, and ecosystem partners such as Qualcomm and MediaTek.

The interoperability tests use carrier aggregation to extend the coverage of 5G, boost network capacity, and increase data speeds.

Ericsson’s collaboration with partners has so far resulted in several 5G firsts:

World’s first 5G standalone (SA) data session with 5G CA on a commercial smartphone completed with T-Mobile, LG and MediaTek. With 5G CA, T-Mobile can combine its different 5G spectrum bands – starting with 2.5 GHz mid-band and 600 MHz low-band – boosting speeds and increasing the footprint of T-Mobile’s mid-band 5G.

It’s also a key step in expanding T-Mobile’s nationwide standalone architecture 5G network by increasing SA 5G capacity and speeds. (October 2020)

A 2300 + 3500MHz 5G Non-Standalone Carrier Aggregation call made by Optus using Ericsson technology and Samsung’s Galaxy S20 5G handset range.

The call showed the benefit of using both spectrum frequencies simultaneously, namely, a significant increase in the average and peak 5G speeds that customers, with an eligible handset, will benefit from as the capability becomes available.

First to complete all three combinations of NR time division duplex (TDD) and frequency division duplex (FDD) carrier aggregation (CA) together with MediaTek. The companies carried out a 5G SA data call by aggregating 20MHz on FDD spectrum and 100MHz on TDD spectrum with MediaTek’s Dimensity 1000+ chipset at the Ericsson Lab in Kista.

Completed pioneering interoperability tests for 5G SA carrier aggregation across both FDD/TDD and TDD/TDD bands together with Qualcomm Technologies. 5G CA allows service providers to use multiple sub-6 GHz spectrum channels simultaneously to transfer data between base stations and a 5G mobile device.

Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson says: “From technology development to wider area deployments, Ericsson continues to spearhead 5G innovation with customers and industry partners. To maximize the full potential of the mid-band spectrum, we’ve developed 5G NR carrier aggregation solutions that will help our customers deploy a better 5G with greater coverage, increased capacity and higher data speeds. These solutions will extend the coverage of the high capacity mid-band spectrum. By enabling peak speeds, coverage and capacity, 5G carrier aggregation will be a real game-changer.”

Ericsson’s 5G NR carrier aggregation solution will be commercially available in the fourth quarter of 2020 with a global rollout expected during 2021.