Qualcomm & Fujitsu Use Carrier Aggregation To Complete 5G NR Data Call

Working together, Qualcomm and Fujitsu have successfully completed a 5G NR data call with multi-gigabit connection using 5G sub-6 GHz carrier aggregation, the two companies announced.

The landmark call was made using non-standalone architecture, aggregating non-contiguous spectrum on 3.5 GHz (n78) and 4.9 GHz (n79) bands. The companies used a Fujitsu 5G NR base station and a 5G smartphone test device powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System.

5G NR (New Radio) is a radio access technology (RAT) developed by the 3GPP for the fifth generation mobile network. The 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) is a consortium of seven national or regional telco standards groups (ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TSDSI, TTA, TTC) that develop protocols for mobile telecommunications.

This data call was the companies' first demonstration of 5G carrier aggregation, which is a technique that increases the data rate per user by assigning multiple frequency blocks (called component carriers, or CCs) to the same user. Throughput enhancement is achieved through the resulting increase in bandwidth.

"Carrier aggregation is an important feature in the evolution of 5G networks to enhance system capacity, boost reliability in weak signal conditions, and deliver higher peak speeds - improving user experiences in existing applications and enabling new use cases in the future," the company said.

At the heart of the call, Qualcomm's Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System was designed to support peak speeds up to 5 Gbps by aggregating 200 MHz across select 5G sub-6 GHz bands. 5G sub-6 GHz carrier aggregation provides operators with greater flexibility to boost 5G performance utilizing their diverse spectrum assets, the companies explained, allowing them to improve network capacity and performance. 5G carrier aggregation helps to improve 5G speeds and reliability in "challenging wireless conditions," allowing consumers to experience smoother video streaming and faster downloads, they said.

"Our successful completion of this 5G carrier aggregation data call exemplifies Fujitsu and Qualcomm Technologies' collaborative, long-term approach to leading the evolution of 5G," said Masaki Taniguchi, senior vice president of Fujitsu's mobile system business unit. "We are excited to elevate the use of 5G carrier aggregation to bring benefits for both operators and customers, and look forward to future work with Qualcomm Technologies to enhance what's possible for 5G networks."

This successful data call and aggregation demonstration adds to Qualcomm's growing list of firsts, which includes the first 5G data connection on a modem chipset, the first 5G mmWave over-the-air call, and the first 5G data call over-the-air using spectrum sharing and a recent Voice-over-NR call.

Qualcomm expects commercial devices featuring carrier aggregation capabilities and powered by the Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System are expected to be available later this year.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at