Carrier aggregation allows multiple carriers to be added together, allowing wider channel bandwidths and higher data rates to be achieved. The 7100 now supports all of the carrier aggregation scenarios specified in 3GPP Release 10, and is also ready for all those currently proposed for Release 11, as well as any other combination of two non-contiguous bands.
The ability to combine two non-contiguous carriers, each with up to 20 MHz bandwidth, enables a downlink data rate of 300 Mbps to be achieved using 2x2 MIMO and 64QAM, meeting the requirements of CAT 6. Aeroflex's end-to-end carrier aggregation test capability is being demonstrated at Mobile World Congress using a 7100 Digital Radio Test Set in combination with the TM500 Test Mobile, which is emulating a real LTE-A mobile user equipment (UE).
LTE-A has provision for combining up to five component carriers (CC) of up to 20 MHz bandwidth, with the aim of raising the peak data rate to 1 Gbps and beyond. 3GPP Release 10 specifies 11 TDD bands, along with a range of scenarios for aggregating specific pairs of these bands in both contiguous and non-contiguous combinations. This technique combines the capacity of different frequency bands while maximizing the benefits of the superior propagation capability in the lower frequency band.