3C – Faster LTE service Tri-Band LTE-Advance with carrier aggregation

Throughout a world, Wireless operators are getting ready to replace its services with new high-speed Tri-Band Carrier Aggregation technology, they’ve built during the past couple of years.

Time of the June 2013 year, when South Korea Telecom introduced the world’s first LTE-Advanced network via CA (carrier aggregation). It was basically with a commercial smart-phone use along with the service which the carrier said was a world’s first.

Carrier Aggregation (CA) is nothing but a key component of Long Term Evolution-Advance, a technology evolution from the current LTE networks. The purpose is to take user experience to the next level and allow operator to deliver successively higher data rates performance mobile based on ever-increasing users needs.

It supports LTE Carrier Aggregation between licensed and unlicensed spectrum. The increasing number of carrier components and the total bandwidth benefits in both the downlink and the uplink. Which in turn, enables flexible aggregation of FDD as well as TDD LTE carriers.



In India, one of CA technologies is a key to an improved user experience, where the spectrum allocations are sparse for all operators, and split in various bands.

3C technologies will permit the operators the flexibility to advantage the entire allocated spectrum bandwidth. Development and expense of devices supporting the technologies have been hurdles towards deploying them so far.

They are continuously looking at all possible options for enhancing customer experience with tri-band carrier aggregation or 3C technology in 4G network.

Tri-band Carrier Aggregation

Tri-band Carrier Aggregation enables operators who have available spectrum in 3 separate bands to aggregate this spectrum together to make higher internet download speeds.

Not only this, but this way it will also improve app coverage and offer higher capacity, faster internet speeds across the LTE coverage area (is being deployed globally).

LTE-A is the continuing evolution of 3GPP standards (covers all GSM including GPRS and EDGE; W-CDMA including HSPA; LTE including LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro) and establish new LTE capabilities for global operator deployment.

This is essentially allows wireless network operators, glue together transmissions across different spectrum bands in order to give superior download speeds.

Technical achievement provides operators to implement performance improvements across the Long Term Evolution coverage area. India’s top telecom operators Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular are considering this technology deployments.

This will, further help in clubbing together fragmented spectrum bands to virtually generate larger airwave blocks, thereby offering faster, advance and more stable 4G internet speed for users.

There are two carrier aggregation technologies in the market – LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) and LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U).

Benefits of LTE-A and LTE-U

LTE-Advance

By using three separate bands, Tri-band LTE-Advance devices promises to deliver four times faster speeds than current 4G LTE and 21 times faster than 3G.

This process involves letting operators to pool spectrum across inter & intra bands, thus providing better experience to the users whose device possess those capabilities.

In addition, LTE-Advance gives better broadband experience across the coverage area. Achieved 300Mbps download speed will be a big plus for smart phone users who like to stream ultra high-definition videos and other bandwidth consuming content including virtual reality.

With the help of Tri-Band LTE-Advanced with Carrier Aggregation, mobile device can able to receive LTE signal on three different frequency bands and combines them into a single band. Moreover, better broadband experience across the coverage area.

According to South Korean press release, at peak speed, Tri-Band LTE-Advanced with Carrier Aggregation allows users to download a 1 GB movie in just 28 seconds. That compares with 4G LTE, which take 1 minute and 50 seconds, and LTE-Advance in 55 seconds to download the same.

LTE-Unlicensed

LTE-U is a wireless communication system designed to use unlicensed spectrum – it is open to everybody – along with licensed LTE spectrum to ease the burden on big mobile carriers’ networks, conceptualized by Qualcomm.

LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) is intended to let cell networks boost internet speeds over short distances, without requiring the user to use a separate Wi-Fi network as they normally would.

Usually, it allows smart-phone carriers to boost coverage area in their cellular networks, by using the unlicensed 5 GHz band. Reliance Jio thinks about LTE-U via carrier aggregation deployment.

They are actively involved in trials across the globe and have done extensive tests, which will currently result in operators having limited control over quality of service, could lead to quick congestion.

LTE-U extends the benefits of LTE as well as LTE-A unlicensed spectrum, provides mobile operators to offload internet traffic onto unlicensed frequencies more effectively and efficiently.

Also customer gets a more robust and seamless mobile broadband internet experience with better coverage and speedy download speeds.

Availability

Ooredoo Qatar and Nokia networks also launched the commercial launch of LTE-A 3C technology. The higher speeds are available across substantial high-traffic areas including West Bay, Doha, the Katara and Corniche Cultural Village. Users with Category 9 (CAT 9) capable handsets can benefit from data intensive services.

Sprint and Verizon have all said they are either deploying it or will soon. Sprint confirmed to FierceWireless that it launched three-channel carrier aggregation in Kansas City and Chicago, merging transmissions across 3 different channels of its 2.5 GHz spectrum and offering speeds up to 200 Mbps.

Vodafone is working with Samsung for the supply of suitable 3C-ready devices and pair said to be testing the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+, which is supporting LTE Category 9. Vodafone Czech Republic introduced 3C service on its LTE-A network in the Karlovy Vary city.

T-Mobile said, is already offering three-channel carrier aggregation. Nowadays, Bharti Airtel, the India’s leading telco doing trials for carrier aggregation in 4G. Once it’s become fully developed, it will begin to be very easy to deploy.

“If Indian telcos are to deploy carrier aggregation on a large scale, it could be targeted towards data intensive technologies such as 3G and 4G LTE, because of the rapidly increasing data traffic in India both due to increase in data usage per subscriber as well as data adoption.”said Dhamija.


According to Huawei’s Kumar said,

major CA investment are expected to be on wireless side as antenna systems and new base stations are required to support CA. While in core, a multi band controller or scheduler need to be install for CA solution.

Few Things to Know About Tri-Band LTE-Advanced via Carrier Aggregation

Comparatively, LTE-Advance has become less or more standardized over the past few years. Number of operators across countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia have deployed it.

Verizon’s Mike Haberman said the operator will also enable three-channel carrier aggregation in locations where it has sufficient spectrum.

Number of devices already support carrier aggregation for 3G network technology, mostly high end ones, a fewer smart-phones, support LTE-A technology globally in India. According to Savargaonkar said that, the device ecosystem has to develop to support the LTE-A technology.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 S-LTE is the carrier’s first tri-band LTE-Advance capable device, and it will be sold to a limited number of early adopters who will offer feedback on performance and other issues.

According to South Korea Telecom, subscribers will be able to get the new service at the same price as LTE. To be clear, though, three-channel carrier aggregation must be enabled both in the network and on the users’ device.

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