LTE gains momentum but spectrum challenges are on


No TD-LTE network has gone live yet, but commercial
launches of this technology jointly developed by China and Qualcomm are getting
closer, with the Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) being formed in February this
year to push forward its development and adoption.


The five-month old initiative counts prominent WiMAX
players such as Clearwire and P1 as its members, as well as major telco
operators in Taiwan, India, Japan, and South Korea.


The biggest concern facing many operators now is the
squeeze on available spectrum. Regulators in certain countries have not yet
announced any plans for LTE spectrum allocation,” said Fei Feng Seet, research
analyst, ABI Research.


Countries such as Taiwan will not be ready for such LTE
spectrum auctions any time soon, because the 700MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum bands,
the most suitable for LTE, are still occupied.


Spectrum standardization for LTE deployments across the
globe has also been a key issue. Verizon Wireless (along with a few other
operators in the US) has led the way by facilitating LTE on 700MHz spectrum,
while operators such as Mobyland in Poland and M1 in Singapore are using
refarmed 1.8GHz spectrum.


Several other operators are intending to deploy on higher
spectrum bands such as 2.5 or 2.6GHz.


A challenging issue to tackle will be the ability of LTE
devices to support roaming across the various spectrum bands, but more industry
collaboration is expected in the next few years as LTE achieves widespread
adoption,” said Aditya Kaul, practice director.


By Team
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