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About Carrier Aggregation

One of the critical enabling technologies of LTE is Carrier Aggregation. Simply stated, Carrier Aggregation (CA) combines two or more channels (also called carriers) of available wireless spectrum to greatly increase data rates to and from an LTE smartphone. CA effectively doubles smartphone data rates and allows for more efficient use of available network capacity. It combines multiple channels in both high and lower frequency bands, or adjoining channels within the same frequency band to deliver the higher data throughput specified in both FDD and TDD LTE standards.

A welcome addition for LTE customers, CA is considered the first step in LTE Advanced commercialization. CA can also provide increased user data rates for users that can be traded off to maximize capacity for certain applications.

Types of Carrier Aggregation

RFMD helps smartphone OEMs and network providers with the high-performance components needed to implement Carrier Aggregation. We understand the unique RF linearity and isolation requirements of CA and have a broad array of components optimized for CA performance in mobile devices.

RFMD’s different types of carrier aggregation solutions includes:

  • Antenna switch modules - These allow for multiple carrier aggregation band combinations and provide rapid regional customization for smartphone and modem manufacturers.
  • Discrete antenna switches - This technology supports continuous carrier aggregation.
  • Antenna tuners - Used in wide band operation, these tuners are used to achieve a tunable narrow band antenna.
  • Impedance tuners - These tuners tune the antenna to the entire system for consistency in a matching network.
  • Power amplifiers (both multi-mode multi-band and satellite PAs) - This technology amplifies the radiated signal, providing linearity.
  • Power management ICs - These integrated circuits manage the power requirements of the host system.

Our portfolio also provides other components that offer the size and performance needed for new CA-enabled mobile devices.