LTE spectrum regionally fragmented
LTE spectrum has become regionally fragmented, says Informa Telecoms & Media. The emergence of distinct regional and even national bands and band combinations will pose difficult choices for equipment and device vendors in terms of which bands they choose to support, according to Informa.
"There is widespread uncertainty among regulators and operators as to which bands will become available and when, and the likely effect will be to create doubt throughout the supply chain regarding which bands should be the focus for the development of equipment and devices. No fewer than 10 bands are expected to be used for LTE in Asia Pacific alone, and all regions will see deployments in multiple bands" said Julian Bright, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media and author of the LTE Spectrum Strategies and Forecasts to 2016 report.
Popular LTE band combinations by region as per Informa are following
North America 700+2100
Latin America 700+2100 ; 700+2600
Asia Pacific 700+1800; 700+2100; 800+1800; 1800+2600; 2300+2600
Western Europe 800+2600; 800+1800+2600
Eastern Europe 800+2600; 1800+2600
Middle East 900+1800
In the USA, LTE deployments are being done in 700 MHz spectrum and in existing AWS (1.7/2.1 GHz) spectrum. Whereas the 800MHz digital dividend band will be widely used in Western and Eastern Europe. The 900MHz band is being used in early deployments in Sweden. 2600MHz FDD band will be widely adopted in Western and Eastern Europe and will see some take up in the North and Latin American markets according to informa. The 2300MHz TDD band will dominate in China, while initial deployments in Japan use 800 MHz, 1.5 GHz and 1.7 GHz (operator-dependant).
There is strong momentum towards deploying LTE in re-farmed spectrum, particularly 1800 MHz (i.e. LTE1800) reported GSA earlier. Four LTE1800 networks are now commercially launched, in Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Singapore, and several more deployments are in progress or planned.
Having various spectrums are certainly going to pose problems for device manufacturers and roaming. Some of the bands may not be deployed in more than one country.