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Ofcom eyes LTE in 700-MHz band

03 апреля 2012

Ofcom has launched a new consultation that could pave the way for the use of 700-MHz spectrum for mobile broadband services in the U.K.

The regulator said such a move would bring the U.K. in line with a number of other markets including, crucially, the U.S., which is deploying LTE at 700 MHz "on a mass market scale".

"Countries including Australia and New Zealand are likely to release this band in the short term enabling LTE deployments, whilst in others, like India, plans for release are currently at an early stage," said Ofcom.

The deployment of LTE in the same frequency band is important for handset makers trying to limit the cost and complexity of launching devices in multiple markets. At the moment there are 42 different bands allotted for LTE worldwide. This fragmentation was brought to public attention when Apple announced its coveted new iPad boasts LTE capability, but only in two bands: 700 MHz and 2100 MHz.

Ofcom's consultation follows in the wake of a resolution passed at February's World Radio Conference (WRC) in Geneva that could lead to Europe, Africa and the Middle East adopting 700 MHz for mobile broadband from 2015.

In addition, the 700-MHz band is used by the U.K.'s digital terrestrial television (DTT) providers, so allocating it for mobile broadband would require TV services to be switched to another frequency. To this end Ofcom's consultation proposes eventually using the 600-MHz band - vacated by the digital switchover - for DTT signals.

Based on the timeframe set out in the WRC resolution and the need to move DTT services, Ofcom said it is unlikely the U.K. will reallocate 700 MHz before 2018.

"Additional sub-1-GHz spectrum could play a significant role in meeting the future growth in demand for mobile broadband under nearly all plausible future scenarios," Ofcom continued.

These future scenarios predict that mobile data traffic volumes will be somewhere between 20 and 300 times greater by 2030.

"The rapidly increasing growth in demand for mobile data sets a significant challenge for spectrum management and mobile networks deployment," said Ofcom.

Ofcom's consultation will be open until 7 June.

Источник: Total Telecom

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