APT700 spectrum band to make mobile broadband affordable

APT 700 spectrum band will make mobile broadband affordable for 2 billion people if utilized for 4G LTE services.

The APT700 band, also known as the Digital Dividend, reuses spectrum made available as a result of the shift from analogue to digital TV and radio channels. Its propagation characteristics are ideal for rural coverage as well as indoor urban penetration, making the business case for wide scale deployment of LTE service coverage worldwide.

These benefits, in combination with widespread adoption of the band in markets across Asia, Latin America and Europe, make the APT700 band a key part of the adoption of LTE across the globe, with networks and device manufacturers able to support one band for a wide range of markets, driving economies of scale and the creation of a global ecosystem.

With a lag of 18 months on average for devices following spectrum release, the mobile device ecosystem needs to introduce handsets to cover smart to basic functionality by late 2013 to meet demand as the 700 MHz APT networks start to rollout. The device manufacturers should focus on addressing the lower end price range, where there is a particular need to connect all to broadband.

“Providing a source of reliable and comprehensive information is important for operators to be able to understand the capabilities, scale and timing of emerging technologies such as APT700 for 4G,” said Mike Wright, executive director, Networks, Telstra.

Based on information about these bands, operators can build technology and investment roadmaps with increasing certainty, this in turn leads to certainty for network and device vendors, which collectively grows and accelerates the new ecosystem added Wright.

Alan Hadden, President, GSA said, “Having globally aligned spectrum bands is a great result for end consumers, as these make international roaming easier, and help drive early device availability.”

“The GSMA has lobbied at national, regional and global levels for a number of years for alignment in Digital Dividend spectrum band allocations, on the basis of the economic benefits of 4G networks to a country and the greater economy of scale that an aligned band plan can offer to the industry as a whole,” said Alex Sinclair, CTO, GSMA.

“The characteristics of APT700 band enable individual operators to achieve high geographic and population coverage levels at much lower cost, whilst a global band strategy based on APT700 will also catalyse international roaming business, enabling customers to cross international boundaries and still receive 4G service,” added Sinclair.

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