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Sprint LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation Discovered Live Today in Atlanta (B41 2xCA)


S4GRU

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by Robert Herron

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 5:20 PM MDT

 

It's finally happening. 2x Carrier Aggregation was found in the wild today on the Sprint network! We have been receiving reports for the past several months that second B41 channels were appearing all over Sprint-land, but nothing about finding them being aggregated together. That changed this afternoon.

 

It was discovered today by an S4GRU Member in the Atlanta market that Carrier Aggregation is live on LTE Band 41 (TDD LTE 2600). S4GRU Member Camcroz was able to get his Samsung Galaxy S6 to connect to two B41 carriers simultaneously. Even with a medicore -108dBm signal while moving highway speeds, he was able to get nearly 90Mbps. Theoretical maximum for 2xCA on 20MHz TDD LTE channels in the time configuration Sprint is using is 160Mbps in ideal circumstances.

 

We do not know the extent of how much is live in Atlanta or other markets. This may only have been a test and will be taken offline soon. Or it's possible that it is going live today in other Nokia markets, or maybe even Sprint-wide where two B41 channels are live.

 

Camcroz reported to S4GRU he was able to keep B41 2xCA while travelling down Highway 400 near Avalon Mall in Alpharetta all the way across most of Atlanta, losing it as he approached the Hartsfield/Jackson International Airport where he ended up on Clear B41 single carrier.

 

The picture below represents the member's findings. He reports that he had 94Mbps Down in his best test. He had to manually enable Carrier Aggregation himself on his GS6 using ##DATA#. Sprint devices currently have it disabled automatically. They will likely push an update in the future to enable it for customers.

 

med_gallery_1_2_30758.jpgmed_gallery_1_2_87768.jpg

 

This is two 20MHz TDD-LTE B41 carriers connected together via Carrier Aggregation (noted as 2xCA). Sprint says it will not be until 2016 before they have devices released and the network prepared for 3xCA (three 20MHz carriers aggregated together).

 

Let us know if you are able to find any 2xCA in your neck of the woods. Report your findings in the comments below or in an appropriate S4GRU forum thread. Viva la Carrier Aggregation!!!

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S4GRU Member in Indianapolis market found 2xCA and just hit 119Mbps.

This is the first one over 100 so far, right?

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Can the S5 enable CA?  I'm going to chicago this weekend and would like to do some testing for you all.  Just havn't messed with S5 like I did the S3 i had.

 

thanks,

John

 

No. 

 

Can we get a quick list of the devices that we can enable CA on?

 

Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, Note Edge, LG G 4, LG G Flex 2, and HTC One M9.

 

 

What exactly is needed for CA of B41? As far as new phones coming out, what should we be looking for? Cat 4? What?

 

CAT 6 UE minimum.

  • Like 5
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Can the S5 enable CA?  I'm going to chicago this weekend and would like to do some testing for you all.  Just havn't messed with S5 like I did the S3 i had.

 

thanks,

John

S5 is not CA capable on Sprint.

  • Like 1
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Got it. After reading up on it, seems like Qualcomm chips supporting this in the 'low-mid' end won't be out for a bit. This is likely why they're quiet about this; their device base isn't really seeded with phones supporting it yet. Gives them time to roll it out completely. 

 

Look for these Qualcomm 'Snapdragon' chips:

 

2x20 TDD LTE : 620, 618, 425 (aggregation in the uplink AND downlink)

3x20 TDD LTE : 810, 808 (aggregation in downlink ONLY)

 

https://www.qualcomm.com/products/snapdragon/processors/comparison

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S5 is not CA capable on Sprint.

Disappointing as I was hoping to look around here for CA as I'm sure theirs a 50/50 of it being tested here.. Time to find someone with a GS6!

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Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, Note Edge, LG G 4, LG G Flex 2, and HTC One M9.

 

Thus far, we have been receiving engineering screen verified CA reports from Samsung handsets.  Have we determined if LG and/or HTC engineering screens also now include both PCC and SCC signal metrics?

 

Previously, the problem with Samsung was cheap build quality.  This year, it is substandard RF performance.  It would be a shame if CA verification via PCC and SCC on the engineering screen is limited to Samsung.

 

AJ

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Thus far, we have been receiving engineering screen verified CA reports from Samsung handsets. Have we determined if LG and/or HTC engineering screens also now include both PCC and SCC signal metrics?

 

Previously, the problem with Samsung was cheap build quality. This year, it is substandard RF performance. It would be a shame if CA verification via PCC and SCC on the engineering screen is limited to Samsung.

 

AJ

The engineering screens from my LG G4 are posted https://www.dropbox.com/s/0i8ibnlga0isj7f/download_20150625_215047.png?dl=0

and https://www.dropbox.com/s/d291mbys0p8c8hn/Screenshot_2015-06-25-23-25-31.png?dl=0

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Can the S5 enable CA?  I'm going to chicago this weekend and would like to do some testing for you all.  Just havn't messed with S5 like I did the S3 i had.

 

thanks,

John

And unless you moved recently I don't think it will be an issue. Check the East Iowa thread for recent discussions on why.

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Saw on Reddit that 2nd B41 carrier will light up in Denver this summer! Woohoo! Too bad I have an iPhone 6. :( #1stWorldProblems

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Just in time when Sprint CEO made a pretty bold statement:  He said that Sprint will have the #1 network, or #2 network within 2 to 3 years.....

It looks like SoftBank is pushing him to deliver, and quickly.

Only downside, say goodby to unlimited data.....

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Hi so even though the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge have the same chipset, the Snapdragon 805, the Note 4 does not support CA but the Note Edge does?

 

Can someone confirm it and why?

 

Qualcomm says on their website the 805 has full CA support, CAT 6 LTE which includes CA allowing up to 300Mbps download.

 

For the Note 4 not to support it its as if Sprint had to turn it off and cripple the hardware.

 

I do remember they specific said one reason for delayed Note Edge launch was to equip it with CA over the Note 4, but if the hardware is the same why doesn't the Note 4 have it?

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Sprint did not cripple anything.

 

It was Samsungs decision to stay with an older Qualcaumn modem setup that was Cat 4 which only supported 20 mhz max of total aggregated spectrum. 

 

See: ykJkg5B.png

 

(Typo on it which says Cat 3- All the other Note 4s are Cat 4 in their FCC filings)

 

Galaxy Note Edge was able to use the Cat 6 modem setup which enabled it to utilize up to 40 mhz of aggregated LTE spectrum. 

 

See: tXJkmT6.png

 

It was more of an issue with supply and demand with Note Edges being low demand experimental and the Cat 6 UE modem setups being high demand low supply. 

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Hi so even though the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge have the same chipset, the Snapdragon 805, the Note 4 does not support CA but the Note Edge does?

 

Can someone confirm it and why?

 

Qualcomm says on their website the 805 has full CA support, CAT 6 LTE which includes CA allowing up to 300Mbps download.

 

You misunderstand Qualcomm chipsets.

 

Some are just a processor.  Others have processor and modem on the same die.  The Snapdragon 805 is the former -- it has no cellular modem.  So, Qualcomm certainly did not state that the Snapdragon 805 has any LTE support.

 

Instead, the Snapdragon 805 must be paired with a separate baseband modem chipset, such as the category 4 MDM9625 or category 6 MDM9635.  Only the latter can do band 41 carrier aggregation in the configuration that Sprint is running.

 

AJ

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Can the S5 enable CA?  I'm going to chicago this weekend and would like to do some testing for you all.  Just havn't messed with S5 like I did the S3 i had.

 

thanks,

John

I have the S5. however the S5 doesnt support 2XCA

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You misunderstand Qualcomm chipsets.

 

Some are just a processor.  Others have processor and modem on the same die.  The Snapdragon 805 is the former -- it has no cellular modem.  So, Qualcomm certainly did not state that the Snapdragon 805 has any LTE support.

 

Instead, the Snapdragon 805 must be paired with a separate baseband modem chipset, such as the category 4 MDM9625 or category 6 MDM9635.  Only the latter can do band 41 carrier aggregation in the configuration that Sprint is running.

 

AJ

Thanks. I was going by what I discovered using a simple google search and then looking up the specific chipset model on qualcomm's site. I did not have the more advanced information available.

 

Now I am definitely getting rid of my note 4.

 

Question is, what phone is the best on the market now or near future? G4, GS6, Flex 2, ? I won't buy apple, ..

 

Do any headsets currently have uplink CA? Because the one guy who tested with 30Mbps, that was uplink CA correct? Uplink CA is BIG for me, almost a requirement because like you all I want to filly utilize spark here in Salem and Portland area.

 

So far uplink CA info looks obsure but I gather support is not guaranteed.

 

I am bigger on upload than download because of all the web development and video uploading I do. I often have on the go 10GB uploads a couple times a month.

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No uplink CA.

 

No provider in the US has any uplink CA devices available . All CA done right now treats the SCC as downlink only. 

 

Uplink CA for Sprint will not come until 3xCA devices that will appear either late this fall ala GNE vs GN4 and will likely be enabled alongside 3xCA downlink in a 2xCA MU-MIMO uplink CA configuration which is sometime well into 2016.  

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Thanks. I was going by what I discovered using a simple google search and then looking up the specific chipset model on qualcomm's site. I did not have the more advanced information available.

 

Now I am definitely getting rid of my note 4.

 

Question is, what phone is the best on the market now or near future? G4, GS6, Flex 2, ? I won't buy apple, ..

 

Do any headsets currently have uplink CA? Because the one guy who tested with 30Mbps, that was uplink CA correct? Uplink CA is BIG for me, almost a requirement because like you all I want to filly utilize spark here in Salem and Portland area.

 

So far uplink CA info looks obsure but I gather support is not guaranteed.

 

I am bigger on upload than download because of all the web development and video uploading I do. I often have on the go 10GB uploads a couple times a month.

I would not get rid of your note 4 just yet. The note 5 is only 2-3 months away and with a potential 4k screen and usb type c support and possible 3xCA support I would advice you to just stick it out. CA is in the beginning phases anyway. Let it pick up steam so you will have a better experience. If band 41 is in your area and it works for you now you can still benefit from a second band 41 carrier. Personally I'm waiting to see the One Plus 2, Moto X 2015, Nexus devices, and Note 5. For all we know even the next iphone might have 3xCA. Wait and see.

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If history is our guide, it is likely that the Note 5 will be the last Sprint flagship before 3xCA devices are released.

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Can't upload a picture.  Primary and serving cell and Secondary Serving cell  were the same.  DL channel (PCC) and (SCC) were the same.  Got it from cell 384.  What is strange to me is when I turned my phone off and on it came up on band 26.  I had to wait for band 41 to connect.   

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Is my understanding correct that CA is only on B41 and not available on B25 even in markets where multiple B25 channels are available?

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