BT Group and Nokia touted their latest trial of carrier aggregation as the operator continued to develop its standalone (SA) 5G network, claiming combining two bands for uplink would support growing use cases.

In a statement, BT claimed to be the first operator in Europe to achieve 2CA in the uplink and 4CA down, with the latter subject to a trial announced in 2022.

By using CA in uplink and downlink, BT asserted it could deliver a significant improvement in throughput and capacity.

Its latest trial achieved uplink rates of more than 230Mb/s.

The architecture is expected to support what the operator deems to be “growing customer use cases” of gaming and live streaming.

Alongside service improvements, BT expects CA to improve spectrum usage and deliver energy efficiency benefits.

BT’s EE is yet to commercially release SA 5G to the UK market, where rival Vodafone UK has already launched services under the brand 5G Ultra

BT executives previously acknowledged it would likely get beaten to the technology by a rival, though emphasised it wanted the architecture to provide a tangible benefit first. At the time the company was estimating a launch in early 2023.