Dish commercially launches 5G carrier aggregation


Dish Network's Boost Mobile unit has laid claim to becoming the first operator to commercially implement carrier aggregation (CA) on its 5G network.

Carrier aggregation has been around for years – T-Mobile began rolling it out on its 5G standalone (SA) network last July. Dish's claim to a world first refers specifically to four component carrier (4CC) downlink and 2CC uplink CA on a live 5G network.

Dish has been trying out the technology since last year. In October, it claimed to have reached a peak uplink speed of 200 Mbps using 35 MHz of spectrum, and a downlink speed that topped out at 1.3 Gbps using a further 75 MHz. The demo was carried out on a test handset using a combination of its 600-MHz, 1.7-GHz, and 2.1-GHz spectrum.

"As the first network operator to commercially launch simultaneous 2x uplink and 4x downlink carrier aggregation, Boost continues to push the boundaries of network technology," declared Eben Albertyn, EVP and CTO of Boost. "We pride ourselves in supporting our Boost subscribers with the most advanced wireless technology available, offering an enhanced customer experience with increased speeds."

For the commercial service, Dish said it has combined 100 MHz of spectrum across four channels – that would appear to be slightly less than what was used during testing. Couple that with the idiosyncrasies of real-world usage, and the likelihood is customers probably won't experience those aforementioned speeds.

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