Vodafone UK rolls out Carrier Aggregation to boost 4G service

Vodafone UK has begun roll-out of a new Carrier Aggregation technology that helps boost 4G mobile experience.

The technology, also referred to as LTE Advanced or 4.5G, combines Vodafone’s portfolio of radio spectrum to provide higher average speeds to more simultaneous users, including indoors where 70 percent of customers use their mobile device most.

Vodafone is rolling out the enhanced technology from this month in Birmingham, Manchester and London and to other UK cities during the rest of this year and 2015.

vodafone-shop guardian co ukThe service will help boost customers’ existing 4G mobile service by allowing more users to experience ultra-fast speeds, the company said.

Carrier Aggregation will deliver theoretical peak speeds of up to three times greater than existing 4G speeds based on the 800MHz band.

The technology is useful when used to leverage a low frequency and high frequency pairing. For example, the low frequency component gives customers a more reliable indoor service and the higher frequency ensures greater peak speeds and capacity.

Customers will need a compatible mobile device to experience Carrier Aggregation, however, the majority of handsets support both 800Mhz and 2.6GHz so will be able to immediately benefit from the different characteristics each spectrum offers.

Vodafone UK Technology director, Fergal Kelly, said, “This clever technology is the next big step to deliver faster speeds per user and to increase the capacity so more customers can enjoy a great 4G experience when and where they want it.”

Carrier Aggregation is ideal for Vodafone’s 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum, which the company secured in last year’s auction.

Low frequency 800MHz spectrum travels further and penetrates better through walls to provide the best network coverage. 2.6GHz is ideally suited to smaller geographical areas of high population density.

According to Vodafone, the Carrier Aggregation technology will help address customers’ demand for a consistent, high-speed 4G service in-building as well as outside for a variety of applications like streaming videos, emailing, accessing the web, as well as making and receiving calls from lunchtime through to early evening from their desk or sofa.

The rollout of carrier aggregation is part of £1 billion Vodafone is spending on its network and services across the UK this year.

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