May 20, 2010
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While there is a lot of buzz about LTE everywhere, the wireless industry is busy defining its future — LTE Advanced. A key benefit of LTE Advanced is its ability to deliver increased capacity per area. And one way to achieve that is to utilize advanced topology networks (a.k.a. heterogeneous networks). That’s exactly what LTE Advanced does—realizing the full benefits of low-power nodes such as picocells, relays and femtocells.
LTE Advanced incorporates techniques such as intelligent node association, which assigns each user to the most suitable cell rather than the one with best receive signal strength, adaptive resource allocation that dynamically distributes resources between macro and pico-cells, etc. These techniques increase coverage, overall-capacity and user fairness, providing high data rates for all users in the cell, whether they are close to the site or on the edge.
LTE Advanced achieves peak data rates of more than 1Gbps in the downlink, utilizing 100 MHz of spectrum and 4x4 MIMO. To aggregate such wide bandwidth, LTE Advanced takes a page from the current 3G play book—the multicarrier concept. The aggregation can be in chunks of up to 20 MHz each. I can go on and on with the list of techniques such as beamforming uplink MIMO, self optimizing networks and others. Suffice it to say that, true to its name, LTE Advanced incorporates numerous “advanced” techniques.
With all these features, it’s no wonder that LTE Advanced is emerging as the leading candidate for IMT-Advanced, the official “4G” standard now being defined by ITU.