What is LTE Cat 6?
LTE technology is diverging into a higher speed branch, supported by LTE‑Advanced, and a lower speed branch, supported by LTE‑MTC (machine‑type communications).
LTE Cat 6 is part of the LTE‑Advanced standard and already available through many networks around the world. It produces a faster and better broadband experience with speeds up to 300 Mb/s in downlink. LTE's maximum achievable speed is only attainable through a combination of the specific LTE category (such as Cat 6) and the bandwidth allocated by the network operator, as illustrated below:
As part of the LTE‑Advanced standard, multiple LTE carriers can be combined to achieve greater total bandwidth in a process called carrier aggregation (CA). This does not just increase data throughput, it also allows network operators to use available radio spectrum more efficiently, which is increasingly important, given the mounting volume of data traffic sent over the air. With LTE Cat 6 and higher, more LTE carriers can be combined to an overall bandwidth of up to 40 MHz.
Carrier aggregation plays a fundamental role in particular when the mobile device operates in a congested network and therefore the available band is shared among many devices. While in this condition, the theoretical maximum data rate is not achievable and the possibility of aggregating more channels results in a higher data rate for CA enabled devices.
Carrier Aggregation Explained
Carrier Aggregation is used in LTE‑Advanced to increase bandwidth and thereby the bit rate. A number of mobile network operators require CA support for high data rate transmissions and the combination of LTE Cat 6 + CA is now a “must‑have” combination to provide an exciting user experience.
With carrier aggregation, different bandwidths can be combined to provide greater throughput. With LTE Cat 6, 20 MHz of bandwidth produces a maximum speed of 150 Mb/s. Carrier aggregation allows operators to combine multiple, separate LTE carriers to achieve greater bandwidth and thereby data throughput. For example, 20 MHz of bandwidth from one LTE band can be combined with another 20 MHz from another band (Scenario 2, Interband CA) to achieve a total of 40 MHz bandwidth or a maximum data rate of 300 Mb/s. In a similar way, sections of bandwidth can also be combined within a single LTE band (Scenario 1, Intraband CA)
u‑blox LTE Cat 6 Automotive Modules
u‑blox is focused on enabling devices and applications for the Internet of Things (IoT), and the TOBY‑L4 series of LTE Cat 6 modules is designed for the IoT automotive space.
LTE Cat 6 supports high‑speed cellular modules for a moving vehicle, and is therefore well suited for hands‑free voice, music streaming, rear‑seat‑entertainment, and display applications.
Routers & Hotspots
LTE Cat 6 allows for cost‑effective, high‑speed mobile routers / hotspot connections giving devices ability to access to the cloud wherever and whenever the user is located.