Carrier aggregation in 5G

A must to deploy better 5G

Extend coverage and increase capacity

Coverage and capacity are the key elements of an optimal 5G user experience. Carrier aggregation is the foundation for a better 5G, an effective tool to extend the coverage of mid and high-band that leads also to an increased capacity. Carrier aggregation is powered by the innovative Advanced RAN Coordination to allow full deployment flexibility and uncompromised user throughput.

See what carrier aggregation can do for your network

Explore the four scenarios that can be enabled in your network with 5G carrier aggregation.

The challenge

To meet the ever-growing demand for wireless data and applications, service providers must find new sources of spectrum while using existing spectrum efficiently.  In addition to enabling new applications and delivering higher data speeds, 5G is unlocking new sources of spectrum in both the mid-band and high-band radio frequencies.  Though these new bands are a welcome addition to a service provider’s spectrum assets, the mid and high-band coverage is limited by the radio uplink signal quality and characteristics associated with operating within the higher bands.  In order to maximize the benefits provided by these new bands, solutions are needed to extend cell coverage.

Happy man with headphones in a store

The solution

Ericsson has addressed the 5G mid-band and high-band coverage limitations by developing a flexible 5G Carrier Aggregation solution which supports control and data traffic on the uplink using a lower frequency band which increases coverage, and on the downlink with a mid or high frequency band which increases capacity and data throughput.  With Ericsson 5G Carrier Aggregation, a service provider can support the 5G uplink operating on a lower band with the 5G downlink operating on a mid, or high-band thereby providing the best of all worlds – better coverage, increased capacity, and higher data speeds.


Low, mid and high-band radio frequencies have different coverage characteristics which means the supporting radio and RAN Compute baseband units are geographically dispersed in different locations across the coverage area.  Real-time coordination with less than a one millisecond delay between the baseband units is required to obtain the full benefits of 5G carrier aggregation.   To achieve this, Ericsson’s Advanced RAN Coordination provides an E5 interface to enable instant inter-baseband coordination with a delay well below the 1 millisecond requirement. This ensures the tight, real-time coordination of the baseband equipment enabling 5G carrier aggregation with high performance, low latency, and greater spectral efficiency.  

Carrier aggregation in 5G – The solution

The benefits

Ericsson 5G Carrier Aggregation and Advanced RAN Coordination is a blended solution which optimizes the coverage, capacity and latency of 5G mid-band and high-band deployments.  Together, these solutions enable service providers to optimize the use of their spectrum assets when deploying 5G.  A better 5G network will provide more subscribers with higher data speeds while enabling a host of new, low latency applications.

Aggregating a 5G low-band with a 5G mid-band can improve mid-band coverage by up to 7dB extending the cell coverage area by up to 2.5 times and increasing the population that can be supported by the mid-band by up to 25%.  The higher available capacity means that more traffic can be offloaded on to mid-band 5G -which uses spectrum more efficiently than 4G-, leading to an overall capacity increase of 27%.

Aggregating a 5G low-band with a 5G high-band can improve high-band coverage by up to 10dB extending the high-band cell coverage area by up to 3.7 times.  The extended mid-band and high-band coverage also enables a greater offload of traffic from the lower bands to the mid and high-bands providing a higher throughput at the cell edge.

Increase in network capacity

Increase in population covered by mid-band TDD in DL
Maximize mid-band coverage with low-band and carrier aggregation

Related offerings

Ericsson Uplink Booster

Ericsson Uplink Booster is an innovative solution available now in Massive MIMO mid-band TDD (Time Division Duplex) radios to achieve extended coverage, an improved uplink throughput and higher spectral efficiency. It is based on the right architecture design decision made from the beginning.

Ericsson Spectrum Sharing

With a simple software installation, Ericsson Spectrum Sharing offers quick introduction of 5G over a wide area, for all 5G-enabled devices leveraging 4G spectrum and existing Ericsson Radio System infrastructure.

Ericsson Radio System

Ericsson Radio System enables smooth, fast and cost-effective migration from 4G to 5G, allowing operators to launch the new technology and grow 5G coverage fast, no matter the scale and complexity. It comprises hardware, software and services for radio, RAN Compute, transport, power, enclosure, antenna and site solutions– all run by a common management system.