LTE-Advanced is coming. The faster speeds of the next-generation of LTE will provide a true 4G experience. LTE-Advanced is a mobile wireless technology that incorporates many enhancements to LTE technology such as carrier aggregation, heterogeneous networks, advanced antenna techniques, and enhanced control channels.
Carrier aggregation combines multiple carriers to increase overall transmission speed and network capacity. Carriers can have various bandwidths and be located in different bands. Carrier aggregation achieves very high data rates and offers considerably higher data capacity than previous releases of LTE.
MIMO (Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output) uses multiple antennas to increase link reliability and data rate. The antennas are added at both the cell tower and the cell phone. To do this, some MIMOs use Coordinated Multi-point Transmission/Reception (CoMP) with as many as 8 antennas. MIMO offers a significant increase in data rate and link range without significantly increasing power consumption.
LTE-Advanced can offer downlink speeds over 1Gbps and uplink speeds over 500 Mbps. This is over a 10X increase in speed compared with prior releases of LTE. This higher bit rate and capacity is achieved using new technologies such as carrier aggregation and advanced antenna systems.
Heterogeneous networks offer a new spin on balancing loads and switching between small femto-cells and larger macro-cells. These networks use inter-cell interference coordination (ICIC) and load balancing to increase the number of cells in a geographic area. Backhaul interface signaling among the base stations allow advanced techniques such dynamic ICIC, load balancing and cell expansion to dramatically increase network capacity.
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