Schoolar: LTE Advanced may just be carrier aggregation, and that is OK
November 10 2014
We have had commercial LTE Advanced (LTE-A) networks since mid-2013 launches by LGU U Plus and SK Telecom in South Korea. Both of these mobile operators made their LTE-A claims based purely on deploying carrier aggregation (CA). None of the other technology advances coming with LTE-A were used. Those features include coordinated multipoint (CoMP), higher orders of MIMO, enhanced inter-cell interference coordination (eICIC), and relay nodes.
Now some market observers questioned if just having carrier aggregation was enough to be an LTE-A network. Some thought true LTE-A networks had to support multiple LTE-A features to hold that distinction. In the year plus since the first commercial LTE-A networks there are now around 20 operators claiming commercial service. All of those claiming commercial LTE-A services are doing so based purely on carrier aggregation. The debate over how many different features a mobile operator has to deploy before declaring it has an LTE-A network is over. Carrier aggregation is enough, and that isn't a bad thing.