Aeroflex has announced the launch of the TM500 Multi-UE LTE-A Test Mobile, which supports carrier aggregation across multiple mobile terminals or user equipment (UE).
Carrier aggregation, a key component of LTE-A, allows multiple carriers comprised of either contiguous or non-contiguous spectrum to be added together, allowing wider channel bandwidths and higher data rates to be achieved.
‘Carrier aggregation has already been available for the Single-UE TM500 for over a year,’ said Shusina Ngwa, product manager at Aeroflex. ‘Once cellular infrastructure vendors have verified carrier aggregation capability with a single mobile terminal they need to use the TM500 LTE-A Test Mobile to emulate real network traffic with multiple terminals at an early stage, ahead of the widespread availability of real LTE-A terminals and handsets.’
Aeroflex said the TM500 Test Mobile platform is the de facto industry standard for testing LTE and LTE-A base stations or eNodeBs. It said that it continues to work with mobile operators and leading network infrastructure vendors to enable them to develop and begin to roll out the high bandwidth services promised by LTE-A in both FDD and TDD modes for operation.
LTE-A has provision for up to five component carriers (CC) of up to 20MHz bandwidth to be combined, with the aim of raising the peak data rate to 1Gbps 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 maximising the benefits of the superior propagation capability in the lower frequency band.