Carrier Aggregation (CA) is a feature of LTE-Advanced that allows mobile operators & devices to combine two or more LTE carriers into a single data change. It leads to an increase in the capacity of the network and the data rates by exploiting fragmented spectrum allocations. This technology can apply to either the FDD or TDD variants of LTE. However, with a maximum of five component carriers. Each with a bandwidth of up to 20 MHz, resulting in a total transmission bandwidth of up to 100 MHz.
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Confusing, isn’t it? Let us understand it in simpler terms. Carrier Aggregation is a technique that combines multiple frequency bands to offer you more bandwidth which results in faster data speed. In wireless communication, bands are spectrums of specific frequencies that are used for communicating between devices. Earlier, with only one band to send and receive data – it took time to complete the operation. However, if are able to put various frequencies together then you can simultaneously communicate and transmit data in a fast and efficient manner.
How does it work?
So, how does it exactly work? In Carrier Aggregation, multiple frequency bands are assigning to one device. They are component carriers and there are six specific frequencies. Those are: 1.4 MHz, 3 MHz, 5 MHz, 10 MHz, 15 MHz, and 20 MHz. One can combine at most 5 of these component carriers to transmit aggregated bandwidth of up to 100 MHz. If you aggregate two component carriers then it will be 2CA. Whereas, if there are three or four carriers – then it is 3CA or 4CA respectively. The more the component carriers, the better will be the data speed.
However, the most common one is wireless communication. When two or more component carriers belong to the same frequency band then they come together. This arrangement is intra-band contiguous carrier aggregation. Secondly, when the component carriers are from the same frequency band. However, they are separating by a spectrum gap then it’s intra-band non-contiguous carrier aggregation. Lastly, when the component carriers belong to different frequency bands then they are placed in separate frequency blocks. It’s called inter-band carrier aggregation.
How Carrier Aggregation Helps Mobiles To Get Faster Internet And Better Connectivity?
It enables faster speeds, via multiplies the number of LTE connections between the phone and the cell network.
So instead of having just one LTE connection between the network and your phone, an LTE modem that supports carrier aggregation when paired with a compatible network can actually bond together multiple, separate LTE connections and treat them as though they’re one. It can double or even triple Internet speeds.
In simpler terms, it is like adding more lanes to widen the highway. It is like creating more space for more cars to travel on the highway at the same time.
Carrier Aggregation Phones Supported In India
Do Indian Telecom Operators support CA?
Jio: Band 3,5 & 40– Jio enabled Carrier aggregation in their All Bandwidths,
Airtel: 1,3,5,8,40– Airtel Enabled Carrier Aggregation in Band 3, 40 only,
Vodafone Idea: 1,3,8,40,41– Vodafone Idea enabled carrier aggregation in their 20mhz network.
What are all the SOC chip-sets that support CA?
Qualcomm-Yes, its supports CA from X5 modem,
MediaTek- P series supports CA From P20,
A-series supports CA From A20,
X-series supports CA from X30,
G series supports CA from G70,
Mid-range 4G chips support CA from MT 6750,
Entry 4G chips support CA from MT 6738.
Carrier aggregation is fantastic technology. Additionally, it’s going to continue evolving to improve mobile networks over the next few years. Moreover, with capable Qualcomm & Mediatek at the heart of the devices, one can enjoy the best LTE networks today and even better ones in the future.