Well, isn't this odd? There's 4G LTE and WiMAX
rolling out now, and HSPA+ being called 4G by a couple of U.S. carriers. So what's this LTE Advanced all about? Well, that's what is coming even after what's coming next. It's a little confusing, we know. But here's what you really need to focus on: wireless transmissions are slated to get faster, and that's never a bad thing. Ericsson has just demonstrated LTE-A over the air in a mobile environment, and they're seeing speeds of up to 10x faster than commercially available LTE deployments. 10x faster than LTE
The company expects their equipment to hit deployment by 2013. The system, based on commercial hardware, was operating on a test frequency provided by the PTS. This enabled Ericsson to demonstrate LTE Advanced functionality such as carrier aggregation of 3 x 20MHz (60MHz aggregated) over the air in a mobile environment for the first time. LTE Advanced will further enhance the speed and capacity that will be needed in the Networked Society in the years to come. The technology is compliant with the 3GPP Release 10 global standard. Recently, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) also selected LTE Advanced as one of the technologies that fulfills International Mobile Telecommunication's criteria.
The enhancements introduced with LTE Advanced include carrier aggregation and extended multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) functionality. From a user perspective, this means that information can be retrieved and sent much faster, even when the network is congested. This, in combination with the faster speeds, improves the user experience significantly.
The demo system was based on Ericsson's multi-mode, multi-standard radio base station, RBS 6000. Live traffic was streamed between the RBS and a moving van from which network performance could be monitored. In the demonstration, 60MHz of aggregated bandwidth was used, compared to the 20MHz maximum that is currently possible using LTE. In the downlink, 8x8 MIMO was used.
All that said, we just have to come back to one point: 10x faster than LTE! The future's looking good, if we can find the bandwidth to actually take advantage of all that speed...