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LTE-A, Carrier Aggregation, '5G', etc...


kyle_4thousand
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I thought I would start a topic to discuss things such as LTE-A / Carrier Aggregation and '5G' technologies. We all know Sprint is planning on using CA with their 2.5 deployments, however I am curious to learn about what other carriers are doing as well.I know AT&T is actively using CA now, so I am told, and there are a number of devices currently capable of taking advantage of this. 

 

With that said, I am also curious to know if Sprint's current equipment is capable - and if the company is willing - to aggregate multiple PCS LTE channels in places like the Shentel and Chicago markets. Possibly even a step further with SMR LTE, although unlikely from what I've read in previous discussions. I have heard that AT&T (and maybe VZW?) are aggregating 700/CLR/PCS/AWS spectrum. Has anyone experienced this yet in the field?

 

Another point of discussion is '5G'. I briefly remember hearing about how they are going about doing 5G, which would be something crazy like advanced MIMO tech and high frequency spectrum deployments (5000 Mhz  +). Is anyone aware if Sprint is exploring this? Or if any other carriers are moving forward with this technology?

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Cough

 

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/6521-aggregating-both-tdd-fdd/?p=373074

 

 

For carrier aggregation, I typically just refer to the carrier and supplemental carrier, but the 3GPP terms/acronyms are primary component carrier (PCC) and secondary component carrier (SCC).

 

Now, it is important that the PCC have propagation characteristics that are better than or equal to those of the SCC.  Otherwise, the PCC fails before the SCC.  In that case, the entire link fails, and the network must be reacquired.

 

CA03.jpg

 

http://www.3gpp.org/technologies/keywords-acronyms/101-carrier-aggregation-explained

 

So, apply this to Sprint.  The band 26 carrier would have to be the PCC, while the band 25 carrier would have to be the SCC.  But Sprint does not want that configuration.  Band 26 is not to be primary; it is to be secondary -- used for coverage, not capacity.

 

See the problem?

 

AJ

 
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There have been reports on Carrier Aggregation on AT&T and T-Mobile so far. They've already started seeding the market with Cat 4 CA capable devices.

Verizon and Sprint are probably waiting for Cat 6 device market to mature before they activate CA feature on the network side, since 2x aggregated capacity on both operators will (for the most part) exceed 40MHz Cat 4 limitation.

Verizon and Sprint will also benefit from 3x CA user equipment that is due H2 2015. Sprint with 3x B41, and Verizon with B13+B4+B2.

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There are reports on Carrier Aggregation on AT&T and T-Mobile so far. Verizon and Sprint are probably waiting for Cat 6 device market to mature before they activate CA feature. Verizon and Sprint will also benefit from 3x CA user equipment that is due H2 2015.

 

Whilst I don't think you are wrong, I think they are also waiting and keeping it ready to deploy as the next 'feature' to drive sales. Right now they are harping on about 'xlte', as soon as that loses impact and they need something else to spur sales they will roll out CA after giving it a name concocted by the marketing dept on a rafting expedition and bonding weekend on the LA river. 

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I know Sprint has started doing this in Kansas City, but I thought Sprint was supposed to start deploying multiple band 41 carriers nationwide starting soon. While this will create the ability to bond 20mhz channels together, can't they function just fine on their own by placing a customer on the less-burdened carrier?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone 6

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I know Sprint has started doing this in Kansas City, but I thought Sprint was supposed to start deploying multiple band 41 carriers nationwide starting soon. While this will create the ability to bond 20mhz channels together, can't they function just fine on their own by placing a customer on the less-burdened carrier?

Sprint had said they would be turning on a second B41 carrier by the end of this year, and a third sometime next year. 2014 is almost over, so they do seem to be a bit behind schedule with that. Hopefully they will opt to jump straight to 3+ carriers when they start adding them next year.

 

Also, yes, UE not capable of CA will still benefit from the increased capacity provided by additional B41 carriers, much like we have seen around Chicago with the second B25 carrier. This is because the NV equipment supports LTE multi-carrier technology for dynamic load balancing of connections between all available bands and carriers within a given serving cell/sector.

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I know Sprint has started doing this in Kansas City, but I thought Sprint was supposed to start deploying multiple band 41 carriers nationwide starting soon. While this will create the ability to bond 20mhz channels together, can't they function just fine on their own by placing a customer on the less-burdened carrier?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone 6

I've only actually found the second carrier at the site by the stadiums. I haven't seen it anywhere else in the city so far. Additionally, the second carrier was being broadcast by clear equipment, so I don't believe carrier aggregation would have been possible anyway.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5

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I've only actually found the second carrier at the site by the stadiums. I haven't seen it anywhere else in the city so far. Additionally, the second carrier was being broadcast by clear equipment, so I don't believe carrier aggregation would have been possible anyway.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5

 

I still think it sucks a bit that Clear equipment doesn't support CA. That'll leave a few big cities in the dust, most notably NYC since nearly the whole city is covered in Clear equipment.

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I still think it sucks a bit that Clear equipment doesn't support CA. That'll leave a few big cities in the dust, most notably NYC since nearly the whole city is covered in Clear equipment.

 

But if the short-term goal is to provide a consistent experience for the user, and not get stuck on overloaded B41, having two carriers up is perfectly fine. 

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Hopefully the 88r supply issues will be gone by the time 3xCA is implemented so that current cities with big Clearwire overlays can be covered in CA-capable gear quickly. Both 3xCA and the supply issues are supposed to be done by 2H2015, right?

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Where does VZW have carrier aggregation capable band 13 infrastructure?  Most of it is old, non RRU, Release 8 infrastructure.

 

AJ

You're absolutely right, but waiting for Cat 6/9 device market to mature gives them slightly more time to perform the necessary upgrades. That Droid Turbo (Cat 4) for instance has CA enabled B13+B4, but it's obviously useless in markets where Verizon has 15, 20MHz of contiguous AWS spectrum deployed. I can see them initially prioritizing CA infrastructure upgrades in markets where they only hold 10MHz AWS spectrum licenses.

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Where does VZW have carrier aggregation capable band 13 infrastructure?  Most of it is old, non RRU, Release 8 infrastructure.

 

AJ

 

A growing number of them (and atts) are Rel 10/11 rip and replaces where they strip the entire legacy site down and rebuild with new Alcatel-Lucent or Ericsson equipment. Typically it's the oldest sites or the highest capacity sites that are being renovated first. 

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A growing number of them (and atts) are Rel 10/11 rip and replaces where they strip the entire legacy site down and rebuild with new Alcatel-Lucent or Ericsson equipment. Typically it's the oldest sites or the highest capacity sites that are being renovated first. 

Like this one? http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/6476-att-putting-up-new-antennas-and-rrus/?p=386118

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That Droid Turbo (Cat 4) for instance has CA enabled B13+B4...

 

And the Nexus 6 supports both band 13 + band 2 and band 13 + band 4 carrier aggregation.  That was a curious inclusion, but the VZW announcement explains it. 

 

I will say, though, that the band 13 Release 8 infrastructure "rip and replace" Tim describes above will be selective.  So, Robert, do not count on VZW carrier aggregation in South Dakota any time soon.

 

;)

 

AJ

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I will say, though, that the band 13 Release 8 infrastructure "rip and replace" Tim describes above will be selective.  So, Robert, do not count on VZW carrier aggregation in South Dakota any time soon.

 

;)

 

AJ

 

I suspect they will focus on markets where they do not have 15 or 20MHz B4 channel width capability first.  We have 15MHz B4 channels here.

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It's also very exciting that Haberman talked about 4x4 MIMO products in 2015. I know it's not a typo since he specifically talks about "launching 4x4 MIMO products".

In 4x2 network deployments, there is no need to launch a new user product, as the entire 2x2 device portfolio benefits by default.

 

"Another LTE Advanced technology Verizon will introduce is higher orders of MIMO. Currently, Verizon's network supports 2x2 MIMO, meaning two transmitters and two receivers, which is a standard for LTE. Haberman said Verizon will be launching products that support 4x4 MIMO, which he said will improve devices' uplink performance and enhance coverage."

 

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/verizon-launch-carrier-aggregation-more-lte-advanced-features-2015/2014-12-04

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They could definitely do it on their TDD 8T8R sites.

 

I'm also guessing Verizon's 4x4 MIMO user solution is most likely going to be a fixed broadband (Home Fusion), or a tablet. Doubt that we'll see a 4x4 capable smartphone from Verizon in 2015. Let's hope that I'm wrong... 

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We believe Verizon is installing a ton of small cells throughout the Columbus Ohio metro. Amcferrin90 put a spectrum analyzer up to one and saw their frequency, but no Verizon users that I have asked have been able to get on them yet

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