Qualcomm and Ericsson trialled a standalone 5G implementation of carrier aggregation between TDD and FDD bands, in a showcase of a technology deemed critical to expansion of next generation networks.

A test in Sweden combined 20MHz in the 600MHz FDD band with 100MHz in the 2.5GHz TDD to complete an aggregated data call. A second trial, conducted at an Ericsson lab in Beijing, yielded peak data rates of 2.5Gb/s by aggregating 100MHz and 60MHz in the 2.5GHz TDD band.

Both used Ericsson radios and a 5G prototype device running Qualcomm’s recently unveiled Snapdragon X60 modem.

Per Narvinger, head of product area Networks at Ericsson, described carrier aggregation as “a key technology for extending the coverage of mid-band and high-band 5G in addition to enabling faster data speeds and enhanced performance”.

He added Ericsson expects deployments of the technology to begin later this year, and accelerate in 2021.

Qualcomm reiterated commercial devices using Snapdragon X60 are expected to hit the market in early 2021.