Refarming GSM Spectrum for LTE Services Proving Popular with Operators
The GSA says that 1800MHz is now the most widely used band for LTE systems deployments worldwide. LTE1800 is serving customers today on over 37% of the 113 commercial LTE networks which had entered service by November 2, 2012.
1800 MHz spectrum has been refarmed from its original use as a GSM band, as a result of the technology-neutral licensing environments which have developed as regulators in all regions responded to the need for more spectrum for mobile broadband services.
A total of 42 operators have commercially launched LTE1800 either as a single band system, or as part of a multi-band deployment.
Several more operators will launch LTE services in 1800MHz spectrum in the near future. Since LTE1800 is supported in the most popular smartphone brands, some operators have adjusted deployment strategies, including shifting to 1800MHz, in order to speed the introduction of LTE services in their markets.
Manufacturers have ensured a wide choice of LTE user devices which can operate on the 1800 MHz band, including all the leading brands. A survey of the LTE devices confirmed that 560 LTE user devices had been announced, of which 130 products (almost 1 in 4) support the 1800MHz band.
Alan Hadden, President of the GSA said: “Industry momentum behind deployment of LTE in the 1800 MHz band has continually grown over the past year. A robust ecosystem is established to support 1800 MHz as the prime band for LTE deployments worldwide, and will greatly assist international roaming for mobile broadband services.”