01/03/2012

UK Broadband offers LTE in London

Most LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks are being offered on existing 4G bands (which have been delayed in the UK and won't be available until at least 2013). Now UK Broadband is going live with an LTE network on their 3.5GHz spectrum.

UK Broadband (which is owned by Hong Kong's PCCW) gained a national 3.4GHz license in 2003 and later acquired the 3.5GHz license off Freedom4 (the joint venture between Pipex and Intel) in 2010 when Pipex was sold to Daisy.

The service is live in Southwark and is using TD-LTE and though 3.5GHz isn't good for wide coverage it suits macro cells suitable for urban areas. UK Broadband has 124MHz of spectrum (LTE bands 42 and 43) which is suitable for high speed services.

UK Broadband will offer a wholesale service and even create MVNOs. The equipment (both indoor and outdoor) has been manufactured by Huawei and a future device supporting both TD-LTE and 3G will be available in September.

If the technology is proven reliable, the current MNOs may be able to utilise this network to offload data from their current networks.
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