The number of operators offering LTE-A with carrier aggregation will continue to increase rapidly, with faster data rates the norm, as outlined in the Strategy Analytics RF & Wireless Components report, “Carrier Aggregation: Status of Devices, Operators and Bands.” The report lists devices, chipsets and operators supporting the technology with a forecast of CA-enabled device shipments, and provides a comprehensive list and analysis of band combinations approved and under consideration.
According to Christopher Taylor, director of the Strategy Analytics RF & Wireless Components service and author of the report, “Shipments of CA-enabled devices has grown rapidly in 2015 with the adoption of the technology in China and with rollouts of LTE-A by more operators around the world. At the same time, new chipsets supporting carrier aggregation have started to reach the market, and this should lead to lower prices and wider adoption of the technology.”
Phil Kendall, director of Wireless Operator Strategies at Strategy Analytics, added that, “More than 70 percent of operators do not yet have enough LTE spectrum available to support 40 MHz of aggregate bandwidth for 300 MHz peak downlink speed unless they use three separate LTE carriers in three distinct bands, and this can requires more expensive and complex mobile devices. However, this has started to change with refarming of legacy GSM and 3G spectrum to LTE by operators, allowing more operators to adopt carrier aggregation.”
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