The evolution from Category 6 to Category 9 LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) connectivity is expected to bring faster peak download speeds, swift application response times, and more reliable connectivity. Interoperability testing of LTE Category 9 connectivity was recently completed with 3-carrier downlink aggregation and download speeds up to 410 Mb/s. The demonstration was completed by Qualcomm Technologies, EE, and Huawei.
Qualcomm supplied its Snapdragon 810 processor with Huawei’s commercial infrastructure solution across EE’s LTE-A “4G+” network. The Category 9 Carrier Aggregation allowed EE to aggregate 20 MHz of 1800 MHz spectrum with another 20 MHz of 2.6 GHz, and a third carrier of 15 MHz of 2.6 GHz. The test marked what is reportedly the first time LTE Category 9 interoperability testing has been completed with major solutions providers and operators in Europe.
The Snapdragon 810 processor features a fully integrated 64-bit multicore CPU and LTE-A multimode modem to support up to 3x20 MHz Category 9 Carrier Aggregation, as well as aggregation across frequency-division-duplex (FDD) and time-division-duplex (TDD) carriers. It has separately been demonstrated at download speeds up to 450 Mb/s over three 20 MHz LTE carriers.
According to EE, use of the remaining 15 MHz of 2.6 GHz spectrum enables both faster speeds and an increased capacity across the network. The technology is also backwards-compatible with all major cellular standards and technologies. As part of the next step toward the 5G era, the technology will be demonstrated at Wembley Stadium in London in early 2015