August 20, 2013
Carrier aggregation allows for splicing and rearranging of the electromagnetic spectrum to create a super-charged network connection. A number of companies are experimenting with the technology, while networks in Asia are already touting faster speeds and breakthroughs in 4G. In June, SK Telecom announced its LTE-Advanced service with speeds two times faster than that of LTE, and 10 times faster than 3G. South Korea’s LG U+ followed in July, leaving Europe and North America to play catch up.
Australia’s Telstra and its mobile network supplier Ericsson have completed a live network trial of carrier aggregation. The U.S. and Europe hope to also take advantage of this technique to enhance their own network connections.
“Telstra combined its 900 MHz and 1800 MHz airwaves over its commercial LTE systems in Queensland, though it didn’t give any details on the network speeds that resulted,” reports GigaOM. “The company, however, did reveal it would use carrier aggregation to splice more frequencies in different bands into its network until it reaches the 300 Mbps ceiling.”
This network is about four times as fast as anything we have in the U.S. However, the U.S. and Europe are not far behind in creating similar networks.
“Verizon and T-Mobile will likely launch their first 150 Mbps networks in the coming months (though they’ll be both be using contiguous spectrum),” explains the article. “And in the next two to three years, all of the major U.S. operators will use carrier aggregation to duct tape their disparate frequency holdings into powerful unified connections.”
Even though Europe is not as advanced as the U.S. with LTE services, they control large amounts of spectrum, which could prove technologically beneficial in the future.
In addition to faster network speeds, the technology will likely also provide better network resilience and quality.