GSA confirms 1800 MHz as the most popular LTE band

November 13th, 2012: GSA confirms that 1800 MHz is the most widely used band for 4G/LTE systems deployments worldwide.

GSA calculates that LTE1800 (LTE technology deployed in 1800 MHz spectrum) is serving customers today on over 37% of the 113 commercial LTE networks which had entered service by November 2, 2012 (see Evolution to LTE report dated November 2, 2012).

A total of 42 operators have commercially launched LTE1800 either as a single band system, or as part of a multi-band deployment. Commercial LTE1800 services are available in 29 countries: Angola, Australia, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mauritius, Namibia, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Tajikistan, UAE, and UK.

In most cases the 1800 MHz spectrum has been refarmed from its original use as a 2G/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.

The second most popular band in which LTE systems are deployed is 2.6 GHz, followed by 700 MHz.

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 ecosystem which was completed by GSA on November 12, 2012 confirmed that 560 LTE user devices had been announced, of which 130 products (almost 1 in 4) support the 1800 MHz band (LTE1800).

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.”

Several more operators will launch LTE services in 1800 MHz spectrum in the near future. Since LTE1800 is supported in the most popular smartphone brands, some operators have adjusted deployment strategies, including shifting to 1800 MHz, in order to speed the introduction of LTE services in their markets.

1800 MHz frequency is widely available for mobile services. Licences to deploy services at 1800 MHz have been awarded to an estimated 350 plus operators worldwide, in nearly 150 countries.

1800 MHz = 3GPP band 3 for FDD deployments
(1710 MHz – 1785 MHz paired with 1805 MHz – 1880 MHz)

The Evolution to LTE report is a free download to registered site users – follow the link on www.gsacom.com

Embracing the 1800MHz opportunity: Driving mobile forward with LTE in the 1800MHz band – GSA report, follow the link on www.gsacom.com/lte1800 

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