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New spectrum licensing spurs LTE activity in Europe

18 октября 2010

With the global groundswell of LTE activity, Europe is enjoying accelerated interest in LTE. More than twelve of the seventeen Western European countries have reported technology trials, and commercial deployments, and reported trial activity spans twelve countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

While the 2500 MHz band is the focus of LTE trial and deployment activity in Western Europe, operators are also looking to exploit existing or new spectrum allocations in lower bands, including 1800 MHz and 800 MHz spectrum as the latter is allocated and prospectively becomes available across the region. Regulators are increasingly moving to permit technology neutrality at 900 and 1800 MHz thereby facilitating LTE operation in traditional bands. There are currently five commercial LTE deployments across Europe, and a growing number of operators across the region are committed to LTE launches in the 2010 to 2012 timeframe. Those networks that are commercially deployed include:

  • TeliaSonera in Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo, Norway in December 2009. TeliaSonera and Telenor have since partnered under the guise of Net4Mobility to deploy LTE in Sweden using shared 900 MHz and 2500 MHz spectrum holdings.
  • Uzbekistan’s MTS claimed the word’s third LTE commercial launch in July 2010. The operator is using spectrum at 2500 MHz. TeliaSonera’s subsidiary UCell (Uzbekistan) followed suit in August 2010 launching its LTE service with ZTE equipment. UCell was licensed to provide 4G services in July 2010.
  • Following close behind, in September 2010, Poland’s Mobyland and CenterNet (Aero 2) along with Huawei, launched commercial LTE services using spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.
  • LTE trials are rife across the region, with notable Western European activity in Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, and Finland. LTE is also enjoying burgeoning trial activity in Central and Eastern Europe, with notable trials in Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia, Croatia, Russia, Ukraine, and Armenia. In the emerging markets of Europe, service providers are aim to leapfrog 3G-UMTS in favor of LTE to deliver residential and commercial broadband services that cannot be supported with substandard fixed infrastructure.

As the momentum towards LTE continues to take hold we expect that there will be significant activity throughout 2011 and 2012 in commercializing LTE services. During this time period we anticipate that service providers will face performance and reliability hurdles that are typical on any new technology launch, most notably in optimizing the radio technology, deploying carrier grade Ethernet backhaul, and in integrating services and maintaining feature transparency across the all-IP core which is inherent to LTE.

By Phil Marshall, PhD and Dianne Northfield, Tolaga Research


Источник: 4G Trends

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