Cobham Wireless, provider of mobile communication systems, announced that the industry-standard TM500 network test system now includes support for 256 QAM modulation – one of the key features of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A, also known as 4G), part of the 3GPP Release 12. The use of this modulation scheme in combination with carrier aggregation (CA) in the downlink boosts data rates up to 600Mbps and allows network operators to improve spectrum efficiency for mobile terminal devices under favourable operating conditions.
Increasing the modulation order to 256 QAM provides a 33% increase in LTE-A data rate compared with 64 QAM, and can be implemented when channel conditions are favourable and cells are sparsely populated.
Downlink 256 QAM support is available as a software upgrade for existing TM500 customers. This gives infrastructure vendors the capability to validate networks under a range of realistic usage scenarios.