Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Alcatel-Lucent Completes LTE Data Call in 800 MHz "European Digital Dividend" Band

Alcatel-Lucent completed the first LTE data call on the 800 MHz "European Digital Dividend" (EDD) spectrum band in a live network. The call was completed in October at Alcatel-Lucent's 4G/LTE end-to-end solutions center in Stuttgart, Germany, and involved transmitting HD video streaming over the air using Alcatel-Lucent's commercial infrastructure platforms and prototype mobile devices.

For several months Alcatel-Lucent has been testing 4G/LTE mobile services on the 2.6GHz spectrum band at its Stuttgart facility. These tests have achieved data rates of up to 60 Mbps in the 10 MHz spectrum and very short round-trip delay, or "latency" times.

Alcatel-Lucent said this latest achievement of an EDD call in a live LTE network marks a milestone for the introduction of LTE in the European market. The company plans to be ready to provide mobile operators with a commercial solution as soon as regulatory decisions on EDD are made. In Germany, for instance, a frequency auction including the 800 MHz spectrum band is expected to take place in the 2nd quarter of 2010. The 800 MHz spectrum is particularly well suited to bringing mobile broadband Internet services to rural areas.

"This is a major breakthrough on our path to become the first vendor to offer a commercial solution for the 'Digital Dividend` spectrum", said Ken Wirth, President of Alcatel-Lucent's LTE/4G Solutions. "Our goal is to quickly and effectively support operators in their plans to further enhance the availability of broadband services all over the region, so we adapted our LTE solution to the 800 MHz frequency band quite early on and we are now working with customers on field trials."

Deploying LTE at 800MHz has a clear benefit for operators which can require fewer sites to cover rural areas, thus reducing overall environmental impact. 800 MHz spectrum LTE deployment could be an ideal complement to a 2.6GHz spectrum LTE deployment where smaller cells are required, in a dense urban environment for example. Alcatel-Lucent has live 2.6GHz LTE networks in Stuttgart and Velizy in France and its 2.6GHz radio modules are CE marked, clearing the way for shipment of 2.6GHz LTE base stations in the European Economic Area (EEA).