LTE Cat 6
Understanding The Basics Behind Advanced LTE Connectivity
LTE Category 6, as laid out by 3GPP, is a platform designed to allow for increased connectivity and speeds, and to provide a basis upon which further, more advanced networks as defined by LTE Cat. 9 and LTE Cat. 11 can be built upon.
But what exactly is LTE Cat 6? In this article, we’ll take a look at the basics about this technology, and discuss where it’s been implemented worldwide.
LTE Cat 6 Doubles The Speeds Offered By LTE Networks
LTE networks, as laid out in 3GPP release 4, have a maximum bit rate of approximately 150 Mbit/s, but most LTE networks in America have still not even implemented release 4 – and are still using Cat 3. networks with maximum bandwidth throughputs of less than 100 Mbit/s. The LTE Cat 6 network is a method by which speeds can be easily doubled or tripled. There are two primary methods by which these speeds can be achieved.
Method 1: Dual Band Antennas
2600MHz & 1800MHz Frequencies
Most modern smartphones actually already have this capability built in, and have been designed with both 2600-MHz and 1800-MHz frequency antennas built in. Even older phones, like the iPhone 5s, have this capability.
Basically, this allows wireless providers to built two synchronized, simultaneous frequency bands on top of each other, and by more evenly distributing traffic across their networks, they will be able to increase the speed – even of people who lack dual band antennas.
Think of phones with dual-band antennas like sports cars – when the 2600MHz band is opened up, they’ll be able to switch lanes, and those of us stuck on the 1800MHz frequency will be able to take advantage of their absence by speeding up.
By allowing traffic to be distributed across multiple frequencies, the speed of the entire network will increase, and dual-band phones will be able to hit download speeds of oup to 300 Mbit/s.
LTE Carrier Aggregation
LTE Carrier Aggregation is a very complex concept – if you’d like a thorough, technical explanation, head over to 3GPP – but we’ll break it down for you here.
Essentially, LTE carrier aggregation allows “component carriers” to aggregate into more effective, high-bandwidth networks. Currently, up to 5 component carriers can be combined, each with a maximum bandwidth of 20 MHz – meaning that an aggregated LTE carrier can have up to 100 MHz.
The interesting part of LTE carrier aggregation is not all of your component carriers have to be the same bandwidth – you can utilize underused, lower-bandwidth carriers to take some of the load off of higher bandwidth carriers. This allows for overall faster speeds, better efficiency, and a much more responsive network.
LTE Cat 6 Is The Future
3GPP has a history of creating wireless standards long before they can be used. In fact, the first LTE standard was supported only by specific wireless routers at its inception in 2007 – cellphones complex enough to use the first LTE standards didn’t come into being until about 2013.
So while LTE Cat 6 adoption is slow in the United States, its certainly the future of wireless connectivity both in the US and abroad, and once these technologies are fully implemented, it will certainly revolutionize how we communicate with each other – and with wireless networks.