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Qualcomm, Ericsson complete carrier aggregation tests

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Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson said they have completed interoperability tests for 5G standalone (SA) carrier aggregation across both FDD/TDD and TDD/TDD bands.

The partners explained that 5G carrier aggregation technology allows operators to use multiple sub-6 GHz spectrum channels simultaneously to transfer data between base stations and a 5G mobile device. This key 5G capability is expected to be widely deployed by operators around the world in 2021.

The two companies completed a 5G SA carrier aggregation test at Ericsson’s labs in Beijing, China. The connection reached 2.5 Gbps peak speeds by aggregating 100 megahertz + 60 megahertz within the 2.5 GHz (n41) TDD band in a 70% downlink configuration and using 4×4 MIMO.

Ericsson said it had addressed 5G mid-band and high-band coverage limitations by developing a flexible 5G carrier aggregation solution which supports control and data traffic on the uplink using a lower frequency band which increases coverage, and on the downlink with a mid- or high-frequency band which increases capacity and data throughput.  With the 5G CA solution, a service provider can support the 5G uplink operating on a lower band with the 5G downlink operating on a mid or high-band, thereby providing better coverage, increased capacity, and higher data speeds, the vendor said.

In addition to this test, in Sweden, the two companies established a successful 5G SA carrier aggregation data call by combining 20 megahertz in the 600 MHz (n71) FDD band with 100 megahertz of spectrum in the 2.5 GHz (n41) TDD band.

Both achievements used 5G infrastructure equipment from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio and a 5G smartphone form factor test device powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF system.

“As the world’s leading wireless innovator, Qualcomm Technologies continuously develops solutions that will help the fast proliferation of 5G globally. We’re proud to collaborate with Ericsson on this 5G carrier aggregation milestone –the world’s first featuring both FDD/TDD and TDD/TDD aggregation– as this technology significantly enhances the performance of 5G networks worldwide, unlocking even higher average speeds and better 5G coverage for consumers,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, 4G/5G at Qualcomm Technologies.

“We are pleased to be a lead innovator of 5G carrier aggregation with Qualcomm Technologies as 5G scales from initial deployments in cities to wider area coverage. 5G carrier aggregation will be a key technology for extending the coverage of mid-band and high-band 5G in addition to enabling faster data speeds and enhanced performance.  We expect to see the first deployments of 5G Carrier Aggregation in late 2020 with a ramp up in 2021,” said  Per Narvinger, head of product area networks, Ericsson.

Ericsson said it will offer a commercial release of 5G NR carrier aggregation in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Qualcomm Technologies also said it is already shipping samples of Snapdragon X60, with commercial premium smartphones using the new Modem-RF System expected in early 2021.

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