Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson announced the completion of key interoperability tests to enable global operators and OEMs in implementing 5G carrier aggregation – a critical feature in 5G specifications to lift performance, capacity, and coverage in the rapidly expanding 5G networks. The companies successfully completed the world’s first interoperability tests for 5G standalone (SA) carrier aggregation across both FDD/TDD and TDD/TDD bands.
5G carrier aggregation allows operators to use multiple sub-6 GHz spectrum channels simultaneously to transfer data between base stations and a 5G mobile device. Implementation of 5G carrier aggregation delivers enhanced network capacity along with improved 5G speeds and reliability in challenging wireless conditions, allowing consumers to experience smoother video streaming and enjoy faster downloads. This key 5G capability is expected to be widely deployed by operators around the world in 2021.
Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson 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 MHz + 60 MHz within the 2.5 GHz (n41) TDD band in a 70% downlink configuration and using 4x4 MIMO.
In Sweden, the companies also established a successful 5G SA carrier aggregation data call by combining 20 MHz in the 600 MHz (n71) FDD band with 100 MHz 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, showcasing how the companies are on-track to provide operators, OEMs and the larger mobile ecosystem with the technologies to deploy 5G carrier aggregation at scale in 2021 in order to enhance the overall 5G experience.
Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, 4G/5G, Qualcomm Technologies, stated that as the world’s leading wireless innovator, Qualcomm Technologies continuously develops solutions that will help the fast proliferation of 5G globally. They are 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.
Per Narvinger, Head of product area networks, Ericsson, said that they 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. They expect to see the first deployments of 5G carrier aggregation in late 2020 with a ramp up in 2021.
Qualcomm Technologies is already shipping samples of Snapdragon X60, with commercial premium smartphones using the new Modem-RF System expected in early 2021. Ericsson will offer a commercial release of 5G NR carrier aggregation in the fourth quarter this year.
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