Nokia and A1 Telekom Austria touted peak downlink data rates of 2Gb/s on the operator’s standalone 5G (SA 5G) network  by implementing three-channel aggregation (3CA) to reach higher throughputs and more coverage.

The 3CA trial blended two mid-band carriers in the 3.5GHz TDD band and one capacity carrier in the 2100MHz FDD band for a total bandwidth of 160MHz. It used Nokia’s AirScale 5G baseband, a 5G smartphone and a commercial 5G CPE on A1 Austria’s 5G network.

With 3CA, A1 was able to increase the available bandwidth for mobile users by combining its spectrum assets. Nokia noted carrier aggregation could also be used to combine low-band spectrum with mid-band spectrum for increased coverage range of the high downlink data rates.

Alexander Stock, CTO of A1 Austria, stated maximising the operator’s spectrum assets was an important milestone for enhancing coverage, capacity and performance.

There has been a string of carrier aggregation trials in 2022 including BT announcing in August it partnered with Nokia on a trial that combined four spectrum channels on mobile operator EE’s live network.

T-Mobile US announced earlier in December it had deployed a combination of three channels of mid-band 5G spectrum that reached peak data rates of more than 3Gb/s.

GSMA reported in October that 27 operators have launched commercial 5G services on SA networks as of the first half of 2022, with an additional 15 expected to have launched or transitioned to SA networks by year-end.