3GPP continued development of the LTE standard, finalising Release 10 in September 2011. LTE-Advanced, or LTE-A focused on improving network capacity. The key new functionalities introduced were Carrier Aggregation (CA), enhanced use of multi-antenna techniques, and support for Relay Nodes (RN). LTE-A is often informally referred to as a "4.5G" network.
As a summary LTE Release 10, which we now call LTE-Advanced, provided the following technological enhancements:
- Increased peak data rate, DL 3 Gbps, UL 1.5 Gbps
- Higher spectral efficiency, from 16 bps/Hz with 4X4 MIMO to 30 bps/Hz with 8X8 MIMO
- Increased number of simultaneously active subscribers
- Improved performance at cell edges, e.g. for DL 2X2 MIMO at least 2.40 bps/Hz/cell
- Up to 5C carrier aggregation (100 MHz total bandwidth)
- LTE Supplemental Downlink (SDL)
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