Performance comparison of 2 GHz satellite-terrestrial network and 700 MHz LTE network for PPDR services

in Report, press-release, LS telcom, LTE

21st May, 2013 - Lichtenau. LS telcom, the world’s largest supplier of independent spectrum management solutions, today announces the publication of a report comparing the use of 2 GHz and 700 MHz for public protection and disaster relief (PPDR) networks.

The study, conducted by experts from LS telcom’s spectrum consulting team, was commissioned by Solaris Mobile, a mobile satellite services (MSS) operator with a 2 GHz spectrum licence across Europe.  Solaris wished to examine whether the use of their spectrum for a complementary terrestrial ground component, to supplement existing satellite coverage, could be a cost-effective solution for the PPDR community.

The study reviews the data throughput requirements of the PPDR community and then considers the ability of 700 MHz and 2 GHz LTE networks to deliver the requisite performance in urban and rural areas.  The study concludes that the use of 2 GHz spectrum, especially in dense urban areas, is able to deliver and exceed the stated PPDR data throughput requirements.   Although initial roll-out costs of the 2 GHz network are slightly higher than for a comparable 700 MHz, the cost-per-bit-delivered is significantly lower for the 2 GHz network. Adding the expected cost of spectrum, the difference becomes even more significant.

Richard Womersley, Director of Spectrum Consulting at LS telcom said, “It seems unlikely that 700 MHz spectrum will become available in Europe much before 2020 if at all.  And the opportunity costs associated with gifting it to the PPDR community are very large.  On the other hand, 2 GHz spectrum is available today and our work has shown that its use can provide a cost-effective, high-performance network for PPDR users in urban areas.  Add to this the availability of satellite services in other areas and you have a winning combination.”

The study considered the design, dimensioning, coverage and economics of both solutions and used London as a worst-case area for assessing the likely performance and costs.   LS telcom’s planning engineers also considered practical factors, such as antenna performance and building penetration for the two frequencies bands.

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