what is dual carrier technology

What does Dual Carrier Mean? Understanding the Telecommunications Framework


The rise in popularity of smartphones has automatically boosted the demand for premium carrier services and updated mobile network technology. According to a study conducted in 2021, the total number of global smartphone users stood at 7.1 billion. The growing smartphone industry begs to address the fundamental question “What is Dual Carrier?”

Dual Carrier or DC is an updated wireless technology that allows people to access mobile data by using two distinct carriers concurrently. It is essentially a type of carrier aggregation that offers enhanced throughput and capacity. Consequently, there are several use cases and applications of this mobile technology, such as:

  • Dual Carrier assists in streaming high-quality online videos with minimal buffering paired with low latency levels.
  • The technology is also utilised in the mobile broadband domain to fulfil the evolving need for higher data rates among general subscribers.
  • The infrastructure is also effectively incorporated in VoLTE [Voice Over LTE] networks for improved voice call quality and maintaining call drop rates.

Join us as we explore and debunk the fundamentals of Dual Carrier technology by addressing the foremost question “What is dual carrier HSPA+?”

What is a Dual Carrier?

So, what is Dual Carrier in telecom? Simply put, Dual Carrier is an intensified wireless technology that is an amalgamation of two distinct carrier networks. The infrastructure uses radio frequencies originating from two different carrier operators to effectively transmit cellular data.

Conventionally, cellular data is transmitted through a single carrier radio frequency network. The Dual Carrier framework augments operation and offers superior speed, backed with elevated reliability by using two carrier frequencies.

The frequencies transmitted can either be non-contiguous or contiguous, depending upon external factors. The non-contiguous Dual Carrier framework uses two independent carrier frequencies originating from specific frequency ranges. On the flip side, the contiguous Dual Carrier incorporates adjacent radio frequencies.

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The Primary Benefits of Dual Carrier

There are multiple benefits of using the Dual Carrier technology over conventional wireless networks:

1. Improved Speed

With the utilisation of two carrier frequencies, a Dual Carrier network offers faster data transmission. The overall latency levels drop as users can access faster mobile data which influences quicker download and upload.

Moreover, the technology limits the interferences experienced between mobile devices. Consequently, exceeding network performance with lower call drop rates. Subscribers can stream high-quality videos and communicate through smooth voice calls effortlessly.

2. Improved Network Capacity

The overall network capacity receives a significant boost with the Dual Carrier technology. Mobile operators can mitigate network congestion issues extended to a specific area with this infrastructural development. A larger number of subscribers and mobile devices can access the carrier network with the assistance of this technology.

3. Improved Reliability and Security

Dual carrier technology offers improved reliability when compared with conventional wireless technologies. As the network collaboratively harnesses two distinct carrier frequencies, the security standards are improved.

4. Affordable Option

Mobile operators can improve performance, offer faster data speed, accommodate a larger volume of users, and increase throughput without having to invest additional funds to upgrade infrastructure. Thus, making the services more cost-effective in the long run.

Limitations of Dual Carrier

Every technology has specific restrictions as it is susceptible to infrastructural limitations and tech glitches. Some of the foremost challenges of Dual Carrier technology are as follows:

1. Restricted Availability and Compatibility

The telecommunications industry has come a long way since the initial incorporation of the 1G network. However, due to limited investments and hardware availability, mass Dual Carrier rollout is difficult to initiate.

Therefore, implementing Dual Carrier services in remote locations becomes significantly challenging. Additionally, Dual Carrier technology can only be harnessed through modern devices. Individuals operating with a traditional mobile device will not be able to reap the benefits of this technology.

2. Spectrum Availability and Interferences

Dual Carrier technology demands additional spectrum which is difficult to attain in specific locations. Moreover, the provision of both Dual Carrier and conventional wireless networks may influence greater interferences among mobile devices. The overall user experience is negatively impacted due to the preference for such interruptions.

Dual Carrier and Device Compatibility

Modern smartphones capable of operating within the 4G LTE networks and beyond can conventionally support the Dual Carrier technology. To effectively harness Dual Carrier data speed, smartphones must be equipped with efficient hardware and software capable of supporting multiple carrier radio frequencies.

Individuals using older mobile devices that are restricted to the 3G network will not be able to capitalise on the Dual Carrier technology. Therefore, users must ensure to invest in the latest smartphone to hop on to the Dual Carrier framework successfully.

Dual Carrier and 4G Networks

Dual Carrier technology can be adopted on the 4G network allowing individuals to unlock new use cases due to the provision of faster data speed. Dual Carrier framework is usually addressed as Dual Carrier High-Speed Packet Access Plus [DC-HSPA+] within the 4G network domain.

DC-HSPA+ serves as an upgrade from the conventional HSPA+ standards and is realised as an essential component of the 4G network. By incorporating two carrier signals, DC-HSPA+ offers wider reach, capacity, and faster upload and download speeds.

Due to improved performance and efficiency of the DC-HSPA+ technology, the telecoms infrastructure is adopted in densely populated areas and important corporate sectors to avoid network congestion limitations and elevate voice call quality.

Dual Carrier and 5G Networks

The latest mobile network technology has set a new standard of speed and efficiency. The 5G network with its low latency properties allows smartphone users to share information in real-time. The addition of Dual Carrier technology with the 5G sphere further elevates network performance.

The 5G network incorporates Carrier Aggregation technology to support a larger volume of data. Carrier Aggregation is a subset of Dual Carrier technology which combines multiple radio frequencies to influence improved data transfer rates.

In simple terms, Carrier Aggregation is not limited to only two carrier frequencies. The technology can simultaneously accommodate three or more carrier frequencies, ensuring complete utilisation of the available spectrum.

Thus, Dual Carrier and Carrier Aggregation technologies are imperative in transmitting faster and more reliable data. The availability of this technology serves as the primary foundation upon which 5G Standalone and 6G networks will be built.

Difference between Dual Carrier, Dual Carrier LTE, and Dual Carrier HSPA+

The primary difference between Dual Carrier, Dual Carrier LTE, and Dual Carrier HSPA+ is the overall speed technologies are capable of generating. Moreover, every technology has a defined user capacity and reach limit.

  • The HSPA technology offers a maximum data transmission speed of 14.4 Mbps.
  • The HSPA+ technology offers a maximum data transmission speed of 21 Mbps.
  • The DC-HSPA+ technology offers a maximum data transmission speed of 42 Mbps.
  • The LTE technology offers a maximum data transmission speed of 100 Mbps.

Related Blog: 5G Nationwide vs. Ultra Wideband: Which One is Faster?


These were some of the foremost aspects that helped us to address the fundamental question “What is Dual Carrier?” The Dual Carrier technology offers various benefits to the end users as well as mobile operators due to its improved network efficiency and cost-effective attributes.

Smartphone users are recommended to seek direct assistance from their carrier operators to activate Dual Carrier services. Ensure to conduct thorough online research to learn more about this intricate topic.


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