Report: Operators are wasting $130B of spectrum assets by neglecting LTE TDD

Despite concern over the shortage of spectrum, and the huge sums spent on it, operators have paid $25 billion (€18.2 billion) for TDD spectrum that is not being exploited. This colossal waste is significant enough just in its purchase price, but the missed opportunities to the operator and the wider economy are even larger at $130 billion, said Belgium-based small cell start-up Accelleran in a new market analysis on TDD spectrum. What is more, at a time when LTE roaming is a challenge many of these bands are usable globally, representing another waste, the company added. In a previous white paper Accelleran stressed the importance of TDD technology and its capacity advantage over FDD for small cells because it better reflects the asymmetry of data transfer. However, despite these efficiency advantages, billions of dollars worth of unpaired spectrum remains unused or underused years after it was allocated. More than a decade ago, European operators paid in excess of $160 billion in the UMTS 2.1GHz auctions held across Europe. Part of that UMTS spectrum, being unpaired, was intended for use with UMTS TDD technology. A simple proportional calculation of the price for that TDD spectrum is almost $25 billion.  This unused resource is in European Band 33, a subset of the more successful Chinese B39. Release