Nokia: 3-carrier aggregation triples TD-LTE throughput

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Nokia Networks said it has achieved throughput rates of 330 megabits per second on China Mobile’s TD-LTE network using 3-carrier aggregation. Nokia said it used a commercially available chipset from Qualcomm, and plans to demonstrate the solution next week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Nokia and China Mobile used 60 MHz of TDD band 41 (2.6 GHz) spectrum. The devices in the test use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processor with X10 LTE. Nokia said use of this chipset “suggests that smartphones with TD-LTE-A 3-carrier aggregation are now on the horizon.”

TD-LTE is China’s version of LTE, and TD-LTE devices are proliferating rapidly as Chinese carriers upgrade their networks. During the past year, the number of TD-LTE smartphones rose 763% to 544, according to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association.

The typical speed for today’s TD-LTE networks is 110 Mbps, according to Nokia. The company said that with 3-carrier aggregation the same network can deliver 330 Mbps, and notes that for many users this will eliminate the need to search for Wi-Fi hot spots when downloading video or movies.

Nokia’s 3-carrier aggregation announcement comes on the heels of news that the infrastructure giant will be focusing on technologies that enable ultra-dense networks at Mobile World Congress this year. The company said that by 2020 mobile network operators will need 10 times as many cells and 10 times as much spectrum as they needed in 2010.

A 3G/Wi-Fi base station and dual band LTE pico cells are two of the specific offerings Nokia has named as part of its move to densify mobile networks. The company also said that new 8-pipe TD-LTE-Advanced 3.5 GHz radios and LTE-U technology will be on display at Mobile World Congress.

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Martha DeGrasse

Editor, Wireless Infrastructure
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Martha DeGrasse is an editor at RCR Wireless News. Martha has been with RCR Wireless News since 2011. Her current focus areas are wireless infrastructure and heterogeneous networks. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York. Martha left Dow Jones to move to Austin, Texas, where she managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Follow her at Twitter @mdegrasseRCR