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Japan's Docomo First to Launch 5G Carrier Aggregation

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Dec 7, 2020, 11:18 AM   by Rich Brome   @rbrome

NTT Docomo in Japan has launched 5G sub-6 GHz Carrier Aggregation (CA), a world first. CA allows a phone to establish a data connection to the network using two different bands simultaneously, potentially doubling data speeds. Phones with Qualcomm's X55 modem support 5G CA, as do the Snapdragon 765, 786G, and just-announced 888. Docomo's implementation using 100 MHz in each of bands 78 and 79 allows them to offer 5G mobile download speeds of up to 4.2 Gbps without using any mmWave (though Docomo also offers mmWave 5G). Bands 78 and 79 are C-Band (AKA mid-band) spectrum, the kind the FCC in the US is currently auctioning off to carriers for additional 5G deployments. These frequency bands are thought to be ideal for 5G and should offer a better 5G experience once US carriers start deploying in them over the next few years. But US carriers can launch 5G CA before then to improve 5G data speeds.

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