GSA: 1800 MHz band offers cost savings for LTE deployments

Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) member companies, including operators, believe that the 1800MHz band will be the prime spectrum band for operators deploying LTE services.

A report commissioned by Deutsche Telekom, Elisa, StarHub, Telstra and others, found that this frequency band will emerge as the most popular worldwide for LTE given its practical, economic and business perspectives. Alan Hadden, President of the GSA, said in a statement: "This report provides the clearest signals to investors, policy-makers and all stakeholders about the expanding opportunities being driven by the global interest in LTE1800, backed by at least 23 firm deployment commitments. Operators should note that device availability is improving rapidly. However, device vendors need to accelerate the availability of their LTE products for all segments and include operation in 1800 MHz to avoid limiting the development of the market."

To illustrate the dynamics of the various investment options, the report presents a hypothetical business case for a mid-sized mobile operator, examining the cost for that operator of deploying a national network based on various combinations of mobile broadband technology.

Key conclusions of the report include:

  • Providing initial widespread coverage with LTE in the 1800MHz band can be as much as 60 percent cheaper than covering the same area with LTE using higher frequency bands
  • Operators will typically deploy LTE across a range of spectrum bands in order to maximize coverage and capacity, and to optimize their cost structures
  • Deployment of LTE 1800MHz can mean a faster time to market
  • Where LTE has been deployed in another band, deploying additionally in 1800MHz spectrum can mean improved geographic or indoor coverage at lower cost
  • 1800MHz is a prime band for LTE deployment in virtually all regions of the world, and is likely to be an important enabler for international roaming
  • Vendors need to develop multi-mode, multi-band handsets, with capability to operate in 1800MHz as well as other LTE bands and on other networks; specific requirements are likely to vary by region
  • In order to realize the benefits of LTE 1800MHz, regulators need to accelerate efforts to enable refarming of spectrum in the 1800MHz band. This is underway, but regulators should redouble their efforts to remove barriers as swiftly as possible

For more:
- see this release

Related articles:
GSA: Nearly 200 LTE devices exist today
GSA: 26 commercial LTE networks in operation, 174 in progress
GSA: LTE commitments, deployment and testing jumps by 60%

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