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Ofcom talks up spectral efficiency benefits of LTE

13 мая 2011

The first generation of LTE networks in the U.K. will be 3.3 times more spectrally efficient than standard 3G networks, providing extra capacity that will be essential to meet increasing demand for mobile data, regulator Ofcom reported on Thursday.

However, the U.K. regulator admitted that increased spectral efficiency alone will not be enough; new spectrum and intelligent network design – including the use of small cells, such as femto and picocells – will also be required.

Ofcom's findings come a day after mobile industry body the UMTS Forum and analyst firm IDATE predicted that traffic on mobile networks worldwide will grow to 127 Exabytes annually by 2020, a 33-fold increase on 2010 levels, and that connected devices will hit 1 billion by 2016. That study was also designed to highlight, amongst other things, the need for more spectrum to be made available to mobile operators. UMTS Forum chairman Jean Pierre Bienaimé suggested that the C band, currently reserved for satellite operators, could be opened up to mobile providers.

In a statement, Ofcom noted that the U.K.'s planned 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum in 2012 will provide operators with "some" of the additional spectrum they will need. It noted that the amount of spectrum up for sale next year amounts to three quarters of all the mobile spectrum in use in the country today.

"Mobile networks will also need to be designed intelligently to ensure the best use of spectrum," Ofcom said. "In particular, the research anticipates a greater use of small cells to meet demand in specific areas."

Returning to spectral efficiency, the regulator explained that a 3.3-fold – or 230% increase – would allow a user of an early 4G network to download a video in a third of the time it would take on an existing 3G network, an important metric for consumers, given the growing contribution of video to mobile data traffic.

"It is anticipated that this efficiency will increase to approximately 5.5 times (450%), by 2020," commented Stephen Unger, chief technology officer at Ofcom.

Источник: Total Telecom

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