Telstra, Ericsson achieve five-carrier LTE aggregation

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Telstra, Ericsson achieve five-carrier LTE aggregation
Telstra's Mike Wright, with the network equipment used for the test.

Hoping to reach 1Gbps speeds.

Telstra and its technology supplier Ericsson claim to have achieved a world-first with a test that used four separate radio frequency spectrum bands with five carriers for very high long term evolution-advanced (LTE-A) bit rates.

The trial at an undisclosed location used Telstra's production network, with a Cobham Aeroflex TM500 4G network testing device as the receiver.

It used 20 MHz each in the 700 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz ranges, as well as two 20MHz bands in the 2600 MHz frequency range, for a total of 100MHz aggregated bandwidth.

Five carriers and 100MHz are the maximum under the current LTE-A specification.

Ericsson utilised high encoding rate 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) for the signal to provide better peak data speeds.

Using the stateless user datagram protocol (UDP), the trial achived 950Mbps downlink speeds.

With the more commonly used transmission control protocol (TCP), Ericsson and Telstra hit 843Mbps against the Speedtest website, the two telcos said. They declined to reveal the latency of the connection or the distance over the air for the signal.

Telstra operations managing director of networks Mike Wright said that was "a widely accepted view that 4G should achieve peak speeds in the range of 1Gbps".

In reaching such high speeds, Wright said it could be argued that LTE technology was finally moving beyond the 4G barrier.

“The demonstration of 1Gbps end to end capability shows the advanced state of these standards and our ability to rapidly bring them into commercial service in order to deliver increased capacity in our network to meet growing demand," he said.

"In addition to Telstra consumer customers, we are preparing our networks for growth in business use, as well as emerging technologies, which rely on our ability to deliver high capacity and low-latency solutions."

There are currently no handsets or devices capable of working with the combined five carrier LTE signal, and Telstra would not say when or whether it is planning on launching commercial services.

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