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Monday Quiz: What is the real 4G?

15 Jun 2015  | Martin Rowe

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While the R&D community is talking 5G wireless communications, it's still just talk. Fortunately, the marketers of the wireless industry haven't started calling their services "5G," but they probably will before the real 5G is implemented. That's what the markets did with 4G as LTE (Long-Term Evolution) technology came online. The "real" 4G, called LTE-A (LTE-Advanced) is just now coming online. Frankly, I'm surprised that the marketers haven't started calling LTE-A as 5G.

LTE-A has been in the technical press for over five years; there have been many articles and papers written about it. This week's questions come from three sources:

As always, answers appear on the last page.

1. What is the current maximum specified data rates for LTE-A?

  1. 500 Mbps download, 1 Gbps upload
  2. 1 Gbps download, 500 Mbps upload
  3. 2 Gbps download, 1 Gbps upload
  4. 3 Gbps download, 1.5 Gbps upload
  5. 4 Gbps download, 2 Gbps upload
  6. 5 Gbps download, 3 Gbps upload


The VR5 from Spirent Communications can emulate MIMO wireless transmissions.

2. LTE-A uses a technique called Carrier Aggregation to increase bandwidth and thus, data rates by taking advantage of unused frequency slices allocated for wireless data. What is each "slice" called?

  1. Download link
  2. Component Carrier
  3. Upload link
  4. Carrier Channel
  5. None of the above

Carrier Aggregation

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