The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) IMT-Advanced standard includes aggressive goals for “true 4G” including data rates of up to 1 GB/s in the downlink. At the same time, operators are increasingly acquiring fragmented spectrum, and want to use these spectrum holdings in a coordinated fashion to service subscribers with higher bandwidths. Carrier Aggregation (CA) is the answer to both issues, making it possible to meet and achieve the IMT-A goals with spectrum that may be scattered among two or more bands, and parallels the path of HSPA which started with Dual Carrier HSDPA in Rel. 8.

This presentation will explore CA, taking into consideration benefits to both carriers and subscribers, and will include concepts and deployment scenarios including potential issues, and protocol considerations. Deployment and subscriber availability timelines will be hypothesized based on anticipated supply chain timelines, with focus on test availability for this new technology.