Cobham Wireless, a global leader in the provision of advanced wireless coverage and mobile communication systems, has announced that the industry-standard TM500 network test system now supports the validation of 4G networks and base stations using carrier aggregation of up to five individual component carriers (5CC). Aggregating bandwidth from five spectrum blocks allows mobile operators to achieve download data rates of up to 1 Gbps, as demonstrated recently by Telstra and Ericsson in a live LTE-A network in Australia1.

5CC carrier aggregation enables network operators with limited contiguous frequency allocations to maximize 4G data speeds by combining five spectrum bands to achieve an aggregated bandwidth of up to 100 MHz. The TM500 network test system is the platform of choice for infrastructure vendors and network operators to validate the quality of experience for users by proving that new network features like 5CC perform on their network.

“Cobham Wireless continues to lead the field in providing the tools for leading network infrastructure vendors and operators to roll out the high bandwidth and high speed services promised by successive 3GPP LTE-A releases,” said Shusina Ngwa, product manager at Cobham Wireless. “The TM500 network test system is the first commercial infrastructure test platform to support Release 12 5CC carrier aggregation for emulating mobile devices up to Category 16, along with support for carrier frequencies up to 6 GHz. This allows early-stage testing and validation of LTE-A network performance and user quality of service in loaded networks.”

Infrastructure customers have had the benefit of being able to use the TM500 to develop and test LTE-A carrier aggregation since 2012, with 3CC support being added in 2014 and 4CC functionality added in 2015. Performance was boosted further by the inclusion of 256 QAM support earlier this year. This new feature now provides network validation with up to five component carriers, enabling mobile operators to accelerate the time-to-market of 1 Gbps LTE-A services.

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