Optus launched Carrier Aggregation (CA) technology on its live commercial LTE TDD (Long Term Evolution Time-Division) network in Australia.
The deployment, which was carried out in partnership with Huawei, combines two 20MHz carriers on Optus' 2300 MHz 4G Plus spectrum. Initial tests have already shown speeds of above 160 Mbps on a single device. The live deployment has been rolled out across a number Optus' "4G Plus" sites in Melbourne, and follows an earlier trial of CA and other advanced technologies which saw speeds hit over 500 Mbps on LTE TDD.
"Carrier Aggregation is an LTE-Advanced technology which combines multiple spectrum bands – it's the technological equivalent adding extra lanes to a highway, allowing for higher-speed data traffic," said Huawei Australia CTO Peter Rossi. "This project adds to Huawei's long list of world-first technology breakthroughs. By combining two or more channels or ‘carriers' on existing live commercial LTE spectrum bands, Optus can dramatically increase throughput on its mobile data network."
Additional CA tests have been conducted by Huawei and Optus in St Marys, west of Sydney, combining four 20MHz carriers for a total of 80MHz on the 2300MHz band to deliver mobile broadband speeds of over 520 Mbps.
The same trial also demonstrated a number of additional LTE technologies including:
- 4×4 MIMO (multi-input-multi-output), which delivered 125 Mbps speeds on a single 20MHz carrier
- Beamforming, where the network intelligently forms radio signals to deliver the best experience to users as they move around a cell coverage area. Beamforming tests showed a 67% improvement in data speeds at the edge of a cell, from 18 Mbps to 30 Mbps.
- Circuit-Switched (CS) Fallback, which allows Packet-Switched LTE 4G connections to revert to CS GSM/UMTS 3G networks for voice calls
Huawei expects to launch mobile broadband devices compatible with CA (known as Cat-6 TD-LTE) in 2014.