LG U+ announced on June 4 that it succeeded in demonstrating three-band carrier aggregation (CA) of long term evolution (LTE) around its base station located in Sangam-dong, Seoul.
CA can be defined as a technique for improving communications speed by combining different types of frequencies. LG U+ explained that it combined 2.6 GHz, 800 MHz, and 2.1 GHz frequency bands during the demonstration to expand the bandwidth and reach a rate of 300 Mbps, approximately four times faster than existing LTE.
“This is the first successful demonstration of three-band CA in a network in actual use by subscribers, not an artificial environment where signals are blocked,” it said in the press release, adding, “It evidences how advanced our network technology is and how dedicated we are to technological innovation.”
However, the announcement has caused controversy as some experts pointed out that Telstra and Ericsson had already succeeded in the demonstration of the same technique a month ago. Ericsson’s announcement came out on May 15, when it said that it demonstrated the world’s first three-band CA on the commercial network of the largest telecom operator in Australia. It posted the announcement on its official website as well, adding that one 20 MHz-width frequency in the 1.8 GHz band and two 20 MHz-width frequencies in the 2.6 GHz band were employed for a rate of 450 Mbps.
At present, experts’ consensus is that the techniques used by LG U+ and Ericsson are substantially the same as each other with the only exception of the frequency bands. In other words, LG U+ was too quick to insist on the title of world’s first without confirming facts.
“Any technological trends and news associated with LTE are issues drawing huge attention of engineers,” an industry source remarked, continuing, “It is beyond my understanding why LG U+ publicizes its demonstration as the first one of its kind in the world with the precedent already present.”
In the meantime, LG U+ refuted by saying, “The 2.6 GHz used by Ericsson and Telstra is a band that has yet to be commercialized.” It added, “The fact that the test was conducted in the non-commercial frequency band implies that the test was just another laboratory experiment.”