Qualcomm, Samsung claim 5G carrier aggregation breakthrough

Qualcomm Technologies and Samsung Networks last week claimed a big breakthrough in 5G, saying they completed the world’s first simultaneous 5G 2x uplink and 4x downlink carrier aggregation (CA) for FDD spectrum.

According to the companies, the achievement gives more flexibility to operators with fragmented FDD spectrum assets, enabling them to bring faster upload and download speeds to more consumers across more markets and networks.

Traditionally, uplink CA has been accomplished by combining FDD+TDD or TDD+TDD configurations.

Specifically, they achieved 200 Mbps uplink peak speeds with 35 MHz of 5G FDD spectrum in bands n70 and n71. Band n70 correlates to AWS-4 while n71 is generally known as the 600 MHz band.

They also reported 1.3 Gbps downlink peak speeds with 75 MHz of 5G spectrum in FDD bands n71, n70 and n66. The n66 correlates to AWS-3 spectrum.

The tests, conducted in Samsung’s lab, were completed using Samsung's 5G dual-band and tri-band radios supporting advanced carrier aggregation technology, and a mobile phone form-factor test device powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X75 5G Modem-RF System.

The demand for speedier uplink capacity is growing due to more consumers using increasingly higher uplink-heavy applications like video uploads, video conferencing, social media sharing and cloud applications.

“Our sixth-generation modem-to-antenna solution was designed to future-ready 5G launches globally and bring numerous world’s first connectivity features to support the wide range of consumer and enterprise use cases,” said Sunil Patil, VP, product management at Qualcomm Technologies, in a statement. “We are pleased to further solidify our collaboration with Samsung to continue to set the pace for innovation and enable new experiences for users.”

Snapdragon X75 is currently sampling to customers, with commercial devices expected to launch in the second half of 2023.