Other elements of LTE-Advanced are likely to follow after carrier aggregation, though it's not clear how soon, Marshall said. Here are a few of the new features:
-- CoMP (coordinated multipoint transmission/reception), a technique for reducing interference between two macro cells in the area where their signals overlap
-- eICIC (enhanced inter-cell interference coordination) for preventing interference between a macro cell and multiple small cells that are deployed in the area it covers
-- higher-order MIMO (multiple in, multiple out) antenna systems, where both cells and mobile devices could have as many as eight antennas for better connections
There are steep technical challenges that come along with some of these features, such as the need to tightly synchronize base stations. Marshall said. That will require the base stations to talk to each other directly, without going through the core of the network, so they will need faster backhaul connections. Those links may take the form of fiber or fast wireless links, he said.
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