Ericsson and MediaTek have successfully merged four channels – one FDD (frequency division duplex) and three TDD (time division duplex)– to deliver a downlink speed of 4.36 Gbps, the highest known speed based on this band combination.

This four-component carrier (4CC) aggregation combination will increase the 5G deployment options for communications service providers by blending different frequency bands.

In an interoperability development test (IoDT), the two companies completed the 5G data call using one low-band and three mid-band channels in the sub-7GHz frequency range (FR1) bands, where typically most of the 5G data traffic is carried.

The higher throughput that this 4CC combination enables will enhance user experience with faster downloads and seamless video streaming for smartphone users and fixed wireless access subscribers. For service providers, Ericsson’s flexible Carrier Aggregation solution will allow them to maximize the use of available spectrum assets to deliver high-quality 5G connectivity.

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Sibel Tombaz, Head of Product Line 5G RAN at Ericsson Networks, says: “Carrier Aggregation is crucial to getting the best possible 5G performance out of scattered spectrum assets. At Ericsson, we are persistently exploring all possible frequency band combinations to boost capacity and coverage.

We have also shown that Carrier Aggregation is a game changer when it comes to optimizing the combined bandwidth of allocated spectrum assets to deliver higher data rates for a greater number of users.”

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HC Hwang, General Manager of Wireless Communication System and Partnership at MediaTek says: “The technology milestone shows MediaTek continues to be at the forefront of NR CA innovation, developing and testing the next generation of 5G SA technologies in close collaboration with industry partners such as Ericsson, ready to integrate into our leading 5G modems.”

Carrier Aggregation is key to deploying high-performing 5G networks. It provides the unique capability to combine many frequency bands, enabling higher speeds and increased cell coverage that improve capacity and user experience.

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The speed boost can mean better audio and video quality for streaming users, faster file downloads, and a better working environment for digital nomads.

By combining the FDD spectrum with the TDD spectrum, more users can benefit from carrier aggregation gains.

The downlink peak rate of nearly 4.4 Gbps was reached by combining 20MHz of the AWS (Advanced Wireless Service) band, 80MHz of the CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service) band, and 200MHz of the C-band spectrum.

The test was carried out using MediaTek M80 5G modem, Ericsson’s Baseband 6648, TDD Massive MIMO radios AIR3268, AIR3239, and TDD Radio 4426.

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