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Ofcom to allow 4G on 900MHz and 2100MHz


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Old 01-02-2013, 13:06
Everything Goes
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Ofcom are proposing to allow the use of 4G on 900MHz, 2100MHz and 1800MHz. EE are already allowed 4G on 1800MHz and this is an extension of what has already been undertaken. Bandwidth permitting of course!

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/con...0-2100/summary

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/bin...ary/condoc.pdf
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Old 01-02-2013, 14:14
DevonBloke
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Could be interesting for Three. Don't know how many handsets actually do LTE over 2100 though.
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Old 01-02-2013, 14:19
legends wear 7
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IPhone 5 for one
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Old 01-02-2013, 14:21
The Lord Lucan
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I was hoping this didn't happen. For the reasons that I would have liked 3G coverage and spectrum protected for a good few years yet. With the same spectrum being used for 4G we'll see a few years of half arsed 3G and half arsed 4G trying to share the same airwaves. Capacity won't be there. At least until they kill off 3G.

At least with the new spectrum up for auction they would be user soley for that purpose. Combined it may work out ok but might be ok. We don't notice it with 2G as its not fast enough to do much with anyways.

However this should work out really well for Vodafone and EE seeing they have a load of 2100 spectrum and quite good for Voda/O2 with 900..
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Old 01-02-2013, 14:46
DevonBloke
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Oh yeah, Duh
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Old 01-02-2013, 15:07
el_bardos
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Don't think this is a big deal really, all the networks are pretty congested on 3G so will need to shift a lot of subscribers onto new 4G networks before they can even think about reusing either 900 or 2100. If all the networks price 4G like EE, that will be a long time coming!
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Old 01-02-2013, 15:10
psionic
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Don't the lower frequencies like 900MHz have better penetration through thick walls, buildings and other obstacles?
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Old 01-02-2013, 15:26
wavejockglw
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Don't the lower frequencies like 900MHz have better penetration through thick walls, buildings and other obstacles?
Very much so especially with increased power output (as proposed) and this latest relaxation of the use of frequency ranges may make it worthwhile for some operators to subsidise the migration of GSM customers from 900MHz freeing up more bandwidth for 3G and now LTE.

I expect all of the networks now bidding for spectrum in the 4G auction will already have taken account of this change as it has been rumoured since EE got LTE allowed on 1800MHz.
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Old 01-02-2013, 15:53
jabbamk1
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Don't think the reusing of spectrum will happen for a while.

But what i want to know is will handsets support it. At the moment it'll be fine as handsets use 800/1800/2600 which is used in asia/europe.

But not many countries will use 700/900/2100mhz. And there are no handsets at all that currently support all these frequencies. so will the UK get special versions of the phones?
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Old 01-02-2013, 15:57
el_bardos
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Don't the lower frequencies like 900MHz have better penetration through thick walls, buildings and other obstacles?
It's actually a more fundamental part of radio propagation through the air. Lower frequencies suffer less losses in general.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-space_path_loss

How much of an advantage it is within cities at this point is questionable, though. Better propagation leads to more interference as well, and when the main limiting factor has become the capacity of each site, they end up being spaced so closely the extra coverage isn't significant and controlling the interference becomes an issue.

In rural settings with sites more spread out, it's a very big advantage in that you can get the same coverage from less sites if you use lower frequencies, so providing coverage costs less (or you can provide more coverage for the same investment of a higher frequency network operator)
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Old 01-02-2013, 16:02
psionic
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^^ Thanks for the detailed explanation
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Old 01-02-2013, 16:20
joshua_welby
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Don't think the reusing of spectrum will happen for a while.

But what i want to know is will handsets support it. At the moment it'll be fine as handsets use 800/1800/2600 which is used in asia/europe.

But not many countries will use 700/900/2100mhz. And there are no handsets at all that currently support all these frequencies. so will the UK get special versions of the phones?
The UK will get special versions of the phones as they currently do now, I am holding off 4G at the moment as my provider Three does not currently support it, in fact none of the other networks do either accept for EE,
plus the Auction for 4G is underway and has not finished even after two weeks, no announcements have been made apart from that the Auction is underway and that they are using special software for the bidding process
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Old 01-02-2013, 17:56
huwdw
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Will this devalue the spectrum currently up for sale?
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Old 01-02-2013, 18:19
jabbamk1
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The UK will get special versions of the phones as they currently do now, I am holding off 4G at the moment as my provider Three does not currently support it, in fact none of the other networks do either accept for EE,
plus the Auction for 4G is underway and has not finished even after two weeks, no announcements have been made apart from that the Auction is underway and that they are using special software for the bidding process
But that's the thing? We don't get special versions of the phones. We get the european version along with every other european version. And as far as i'm aware not all of europe will use 900 or 700 on 4G.
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Old 01-02-2013, 18:41
*MikeB*
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But that's the thing? We don't get special versions of the phones. We get the european version along with every other european version. And as far as i'm aware not all of europe will use 900 or 700 on 4G.
The UK is one of the biggest markets for smartphones in the world it's in the top 3. We will get special phones, or more likely they will just develop new chips that will receive LTE on the above mentioned frequencies.
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Old 01-02-2013, 21:37
12december1984
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The Nokia Lumia 920 also works on these bands.
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Old 01-02-2013, 22:08
Thine Wonk
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A new generation of cells and phones will be able to support different generations on various frequencies I think.

However for now the networks probably don't have any plans to start using those frequencies for LTE. Just because it is allowed doesn't mean it will be used.

I think this is Ofcom just saying... look there will be other frequencies that LTE can potentially be used on as well, something they didn't do with 3G.

That is why timing wise it's important operators and the tech press known this as the bidding is currently taking place for 800 and 2600.
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Old 01-02-2013, 22:24
wavejockglw
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Will this devalue the spectrum currently up for sale?
No because all of the mobile networks need additional bandwidth to provide data services to cope with increasing demand. The relaxation allowing LTE on 900,1800 and 2100Mhz is welcome but it has to be considered alongside the existing user requirements which cannot be changed in the sort term.
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Old 01-02-2013, 22:59
The Lord Lucan
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How a few months change things..

http://www.zdnet.com/uk/why-o2-and-v...te-7000004357/

Anyone know how much spectrum each have of 900?
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Old 01-02-2013, 23:04
jabbamk1
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Article is basically saying what im saying, the frequencies will not work with most handsets and nno other country/region will use all these frequencies so it may not work if there are no handsets to support these frequencies.

Although I do agree with thine wonk that we may see a new generation of 4g handsets with support in the future.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:05
The Lord Lucan
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Qualcomm already working on a chip that does them all.. normally iPhone, Nokia etc use the chips from them so within the next revision or so they will do 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2600 LTE.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:50
Ultraman1966
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Surely by the time they actually have a decent network setup with those non EU LTE frequencies, we'll have a large selection of phones which are compatible?
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Old 02-02-2013, 14:50
Step666
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But that's the thing? We don't get special versions of the phones.
Actually we do.
As small a thing as it might seem, the UK plug means we get a special version.

Manufacturers can and do shift stock between other EU countries as and when needs dictate.
Instead of manufacturing more units if France is running low, they can potentially move some from Germany or Italy or wherever. If they need extra stock in the UK, that tends to mean a new batch being manufactured and shipped out - it's partly why Samsung tablets were so thin on the ground around Christmas and New Year, they were having to manufacture more units and ship them into the country from wherever exactly it is they're produced (a 2-week turnaround) instead of getting stock moved in a couple of days.


Long term though, I very much expect LTE modems to support a wider range of bands very soon, with maybe the individual handset's firmware controlling which ones are enabled and which are not.



Anyone know how much spectrum each have of 900?
Only O2 and Vodafone have any, about 15-20MHz each if memory serves (though I could well be wrong).



Qualcomm already working on a chip that does them all.. normally iPhone, Nokia etc use the chips from them so within the next revision or so they will do 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2600 LTE.
There's also 700, 850, 1500, 1700, 1900, 2300, 2500, 2700 and even 3400MHz bands in use in various parts of the world already.
700 and 1700 are use in the US in particular, so any 'universal' LTE modem would definitely support them.
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Old 02-02-2013, 15:56
Gormond
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There's also 700, 850, 1500, 1700, 1900, 2300, 2500, 2700 and even 3400MHz bands in use in various parts of the world already.
700 and 1700 are use in the US in particular, so any 'universal' LTE modem would definitely support them.
The Nvidia Tegra 4 has a SDR (Software Defined Radio) so it shouldn't have any issues supporting various frequencies.

And before you mention it I am aware only the radio is software based and many parts such as duplexers and filters are still hardware.

It does however mean that the manufacturer of the phone can use this chip with what ever frequencies they like.
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