Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Shortly after CTIA began they're already talking about LTE-Advanced testing, which is defined as the next step from 4G LTE. To qualify as LTE-Advanced mobile networks must be capable of 100Mbit/s downlink speeds in mobile environments and 1Gbit/s for stationary downloads. Nigel Wright, VP of wireless marketing for Spirent, says "We expect to be working with several chipset vendors later this year, first on our solutions and then on some significant changes that come from carrier aggregation," Wright says. "If you're talking to two or three different cells, which is the primary one? Which one do you do measurements on? We'll have new scenarios there to reflect that."

"The infrastructure part is not so difficult," adds Mike Barrick, business development manager for Anritsu's wireless portfolio. "Building carrier aggregation into chipsets and devices is much more difficult." Qualcomm is current the only vendor that will support carrier aggregation on the Gobi platform, which will start sampling towards the end of the year. When the technology rolls out we should start seeing LTE-A devices debuting around 2014, so you'll have plenty of time to enjoy your 4G LTE devices before LTE takes another giant leap.