450 MHz for LTE catches steam with support from Altair Semiconductor

The growing push to deploy LTE network technology in the 450 MHz band appears to be gaining steam as LTE chipset supplier Altair Semiconductor announced it will join the 450 MHz Alliance, an industry association representing the interests of 450 MHz stakeholders. The association pointed out that Altair in 2012 became the world's first LTE chipset vendor to offer a 450 MHz-compliant product.

"Altair is excited to be joining the unique community of market leaders, dedicated to creating a global LTE ecosystem for this important band," said Eran Eshed, co-founder and VP of marketing and business development at Altair. "We view 450 MHz as a great market opportunity, and look forward to supporting the Alliance in providing low-cost chipset solutions and driving the formation of a robust device and module ecosystem."

Although 450 MHz is an ideal location for long-distance wireless transmissions, there aren't many places in the world where the spectrum is available for mobile broadband deployments. As Daryl Schoolar at Ovum recently pointed out, the CDMA Development Group recently counted 115 operators across 60 countries operating in the 450 MHz band. But, he said, "as the CDMA development path is coming to an end, those operators are all possibilities for LTE450." Specifically, he said Ukko in Finland and SkyLink in Russia are both working to move their CDMA operations in the 450 MHz band to LTE.

Schoolar said that LTE in the 450 MHz band could gain steam once VoLTE technology becomes widespread and more 450 MHz LTE devices are released into the industry. Release