Nokia and A1 Austria announced that they have successfully demonstrated 3 Component Carrier Aggregation (3CC CA) on a 5G Standalone (SA) trial network in Austria, reaching data rates of 2 Gbps. Carrier Aggregation (CA) enables mobile operators to achieve higher throughputs and improved coverage. This will let A1 provide its subscribers with a superior 5G experience.
Carrier Aggregation on 5G
Over the 5G network of A1 Austria, the trial used Nokia's AirScale 5G baseband, a 5G smartphone, and commercial 5G Customer Premise Equipment (CPE). It utilized carrier aggregation technology to effectively combine two mid-band carriers in the 3.5 GHz TDD band (n78) and one capacity carrier in the 2100 MHz FDD band (n1) for a total bandwidth of 160 MHz. As a result, the trial's highest downlink data rate was 2 Gbps.
Carrier Aggregation Specification
Component Carriers: Two 3.5 GHz TDD (n78) Carriers + One 2100 MHz FDD (n1) carrier
Total Bandwidth: 160 MHz
Result: 2 Gbps Data Rates
Mid Bands Provide Coverage and Capacity
Operators are relying on the Sub-6 GHz spectrum for 5G. Low-frequency bands provide the best coverage, and High-frequency bands enable higher throughputs, while mid-bands - provide a good combination of both (coverage and capacity).
To recollect, Airtel followed a similar spectrum strategy for its 5G NSA, as the telco has a massive mid-band spectrum.
Commenting on the 3CC verification, Alexander Stock, CTO, A1 Austria, said: "This trial is an important milestone as we continue to deliver on our strategy of bringing best-in-class 5G services to our subscribers. Maximizing our spectrum assets will enhance coverage, capacity, and performance and we are pleased to continue to work with our long-standing partner, Nokia to realize the full potential of 5G technology."
Mark Atkinson, SVP, Radio Access Networks at Nokia, said: "Nokia is the market leader in implementing 5G Carrier Aggregation solutions for different spectrum combinations. It has been exciting to support our trusted partner A1 in this trial showcasing how Carrier Aggregation is a major stepping stone for reaching Multi-Gigabit 5G data rates and enabling radio network efficiencies."
Nokia Partnership with A1
Nokia has a long association with A1, including the rollout of nationwide 5G coverage across Austria and the deployment of Austria's largest fibre-optic network. A1's network was ranked in the top in the top 10 for the best mobile experience worldwide in 2021 by Tutela. A1 and Nokia launched the commercial implementation of 4G and 5G network slicing after a successful pilot.