Small Cells, DAS & Het-Nets

LTE Carrier Aggregation: The Panacea to the Spectrum Problem?

The next significant step in the evolution of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) networks will be the deployment of Carrier Aggregation (CA), which allows for a more efficient use of available licensed spectrum. Small pieces of spectrum, which alone are not sufficient to support an LTE channel, are available in multiple bands – CA allows these ‘left overs’ to be ‘glued’ together into a larger spectrum block suitable for LTE.

iGR anticipates that by the end of 2013, there will be over 150 LTE-A networks operating in approximately 70 countries world-wide in preparation for the arrival of many new devices that will utilize these new networks. As innovative as these new devices are, much work remains to be completed until the mobile operators provide sufficient spectrum to support these devices.

Spectrum acquisition and management is a huge problem that is clamoring for a quick solution. iGR believes that in the next several years there could be approximately 20 separate and distinct LTE-A bands in use globally, very few of which will have 20 MHz of spectrum available. CA may be a potential solution to the spectrum problem, but it will likely not be totally realized until the end of this decade.

This report provides an introduction to Carrier Aggregation and discusses the implications for the mobile industry, as well as timing for potential implementation.


Key Questions Answered

  • What are the standards relating to Carrier Aggregation?
  • How does Carrier Aggregation work?
  • What is inter-carrier and intra-carrier CA?
  • What are the implications for mobile networks of CA?
  • What are the mobile device issues for CA?
  • What are the strengths and opportunities for CA in the mobile market?
  • What are the weaknesses and threats for CA in the mobile market?
  • Who are the likely mobile infrastructure OEMs and device vendors impacted by CA?

Who Should Read

  • Mobile network operators
  • Mobile infrastructure OEMs
  • Mobile device OEMs
  • Financial analysts and investors.

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Executive Summary
  • Methodology
  • What is Carrier Aggregation?
    • Inter-band and Intra-band CA
    • CA Terminal Considerations
    • CA Roaming Issues
  • What is the Current State of Standards Related to Carrier Aggregation?
  • Who are the Players in CA?
  • How will Carrier Aggregation Impact Current Technology and the Mobile Market?
    • Spectrum
    • Market timing
    • Roaming
    • Contiguous vs. Non-contiguous
    • Operator strategies
  • SWOT Analysis: Carrier Aggregation
  • What is the Outlook for Carrier Aggregation?
    • The Next 12-24 Months and 24-48 Months
  • LTE Vendor Profiles
    • Alcatel-Lucent
    • Cicco
    • Ericsson
    • Huawei
    • Nokia Siemens Networks
    • Samsung Electronics
    • ZTE Corporation
  • Handset and Devices Vendor Profiles
    • Acer, Inc.
    • Alcatel One Touch (TCL Communication)
    • ASUS
    • Blackberry
    • HTC
    • Huawei
    • LG Electronics
    • Motorola Mobility
    • Nokia Corporation
    • Novatel Wireless, Inc.
    • Pantech Wireless, Inc.
    • Samsung Electronics
    • Sierra Wireless
    • Sony Mobile Communications
    • ZTE Corporation
  • Definitions
    • General
    • Device Types
    • Services
    • Network Technology
  • About iGR
    • Disclaimer

List of Tables

  • Table 1: 3GPP Release 8 – 12 Standardization and Commercialization Schedule
  • Table 2: Carrier Aggregation Players
  • Table 3: Outlook for Carrier Aggregation, 12-24 Months
  • Table 4: Outlook for Carrier Aggregation, 24-48 Months

List of Charts and Figures

  • Figure 1: Inter-band and Intra-band Aggregation
  • Figure 2: Uplink and Downlink Communications
  • Figure 3: SWOT Analysis
  • Figure 4: Alcatel-Lucent Wireless Packet Core
  • Figure 5: Cisco V2oLTE CSFB and SMS

For additional information on the LTE Carrier Aggregation: The Panacea to the Spectrum Problem? market research report, please contact Iain Gillott, at (512) 263-5682 or by email.