This post is by Kai Sahala from the Nokia Siemens Networks Mobile Broadband team
For anyone who followed the iPhone 5 launch last week, there was a clear message: all the new smartphones announced recently support LTE. Earlier this month, Nokia launched the new line up of Windows 8 Lumia smartphones, and now Apple has just presented the new iPhone, all of which promise “ultrafast wireless”.
Looking deeper into the details of the iPhone 5, the other good news is that the new phone comes in various versions supporting LTE on the frequency bands of the networks with the highest LTE subscriber figures. And there is little doubt that the iPhone 5 has the potential to further accelerate LTE subscriber uptake.
From a European perspective, the main point is that the iPhone 5 will support the 1800 MHz band. This is clear evidence of the growing industry momentum behind this frequency band, not only in Europe, but also in the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
There are several good reasons for this. The 1800 MHz frequency is widely available, and re-using the existing GSM 1800 MHz networks enables fast rollouts. The 1800 MHz band provides a good blend of bandwidth, which determines the data rates, and coverage, which allows re-use of the 1800 antenna site grid. The benefits have been seen in countries like Denmark, where Telia achieved 75% population coverage in record time, at the end of 2011, with LTE on 1800 MHz. True Single RAN (radio access network) with the Flexi Multiradio Base Station from Nokia Siemens Networks also played a significant role in enabling fast LTE rollout with common base station hardware across WCDMA and LTE.
Close to 300 operators have 1800 MHz spectrum available (source: Informa WCIS database), which is now mainly allocated for GSM. Nokia Siemens Networks is a radio supplier to 150 of these operators, so we are able to support a smooth upgrade to LTE with our Single RAN solutions. Actually, many of our recent launches enable smooth refarming of GSM to either LTE or WCDMA on various bands. The Liquid Radio GSM Software Suite is an especially effective tool for increasing GSM capacity and providing excellent GSM service even when a portion of the band is used for other technologies.
Going forward, LTE on 1800 MHz band will continue to be one of the key LTE bands for many operators. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly important for operators to find the most effective solutions for using their specific combination of LTE bands.
Check out our web pages for more information about Nokia Siemens Networks’ LTE portfolio. Please join the discussion on Twitter using #1GBperday$, #LTE and #mobilebroadband.