Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Fifth Generation (5G) private and public wireless networks are deployed using both licensed spectrum and shared or unlicensed spectrum. Shared or unlicensed spectrum is frequently used in a carrier aggregation (CA) mode where a licensed carrier is aggregated together with an unlicensed carrier. However, CA is commonly enabled only when a user equipment (UE) has a higher volume of download (DL) data that needs to be drained, hence current mechanisms result in the use of a licensed carrier to drain the DL data for the UE with the unlicensed carrier not being used. Furthermore, unlicensed spectrum carriers are often mandated to operate with lower EIRP and hence has limited coverage footprint compared to licensed carrier with higher EIRP, which can better serve the users further away from the cell compared to unlicensed or share spectrum carrier. To address such a challenge, techniques are presented herein that support flexible options for the optimal utilization of both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. Aspects of the presented techniques support the default activation of CA for DL data draining for Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) or any unlicensed or shared spectrum-capable UEs within a coverage footprint. Further aspects of the presented techniques support an operator configurable threshold for the distribution percentage of the DL data for LAA-capable UEs based on a UEs DL data. The need may be served by different modulation capabilities (such as, for example, 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM)) for a primary cell (PCell) and a secondary cell (SCell) and may be driven by the number of LAA carriers that are configured on an evolved Node B (eNB) and the number of LAA-capable UEs that are under a cell. Further aspects of the presented techniques support the default automated activation of LAA CA for priority users such that any DL data packet, irrespective of burst size and volume, may be drained through an unlicensed carrier when the user device can be served by an LAA carrier.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.