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Spectrum Analysis for Future LTE Deployments

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Credit: Motorola

Credit: Motorola

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  • 1. WHITE PAPER Spectrum Analysis for Future LTE Deployments
  • 2. Abstract LTE promises to deliver an unrivalled user experience with ultra fast broadband, very low latency, services while also delivering a very compelling business proposition for operators with flexible spectrum bandwidth, smooth migration and the ability to deliver low cost per bit voice and data services. With LTE’s ability to interconnect with other access technologies, operators will be able to converge their LTE and fixed line broadband networks giving them the ability to provide subscribers with a seamless experience. Radio frequency is a valuable and finite resource and, today, there is simply not enough to satisfy demand. The need for spectrum is being driven by the pervasive convenience of mobile communications and increased penetra- tion combined with improved performance and the falling costs of wireless devices & services. Existing and new Mobile Broadband networks will quickly consume existing spectrum allocations as they deliver a highly compelling user experience by allowing multimedia applications anywhere. In the near future, operators will be presented with, and challenged by, new and exciting opportunities to deploy LTE based mobile broadband services but like with any new network technology, comes the question of spectrum. This document provides an overview of the spectrum trends relating to LTE, highlighting the issues and opportunities that potentially lie ahead.
  • 3. above mentioned schedule and the current Industry Perspective & Trends level of activity related to spectrum regulation The wireless industry has seen explosive and allocation, it is likely that the information growth in the demand for both voice and contained in this paper will require regular revision data services over the past several years. The to remain accurate. number of mobile telephone subscribers, as well as usage rates, has grown considerably, Advanced Wireless Services and carriers have been upgrading their networks with advanced technologies in order to deploy (AWS) both high-quality voice services and innovative In September 2006 the FCC completed an auction data services. Historically spectrum has been of AWS licenses (“Auction No. 66”) in which the heavily regulated. However, that is changing and winning bidders won a total of 1,087 licenses. In regulation is becoming more flexible, or technology the spirit of the U.S. government’s free-market neutral, ultimately allowing service providers to policies, the FCC does not usually mandate that more effectively address the demands of the specific technologies be used in specific bands. marketplace. Therefore, owners of AWS spectrum are free to use it for just about any 2G, 3G or 4G, technology. Service providers and equipment vendors are driving innovations and the latest wireless This spectrum uses 1.710-1.755 GHz for the technology are improving the efficiency of uplink and 2.110-2.155 GHz for the downlink. spectrum used- getting more capacity out of a 90 MHz of spectrum divided this into six given bandwidth. Other emerging technologies frequency blocks A through F Blocks A, B, and F . such as WiMAX are also now lobbying for spectrum are 20 megahertz each and blocks C, D, and E, allocations to support the roll out of wireless are 10 megahertz each. broadband services which makes the spectrum subject a very hot topic in all regions. The FCC wanted to harmonized its “new” AWS spectrum as closely as possible with Europe’s UMTS 2100 band. However, the lower half of Europe’s UMTS 2100 band almost completely overlaps with the U.S PCS band, so complete Figure 1. LTE Deployment Scenario harmonization wasn’t an option. Given the constraint the FCC harmonized AWS as much as possible with the rest of the world. The upper LTE Potential Spectrum AWS band lines up with Europe’s UMTS 2100 base transmit band, and the lower AWS band LTE and WIMAX have their own benefits and aligns with Europe’s GSM 1800 mobile are suited to address different target market transmit band. segments; one of the key differentiator is that WiMAX is primarily TDD (Time-Division-Duplex) and will address operators that have unpaired 700 MHz spectrum whereas LTE is FDD (Frequency-Division- In the U.S. this commercial spectrum was Duplex) and will address operators that have paired auctioned in April 2008. The auction included 62 spectrum. Time Division Duplexing allows the MHz of spectrum broken into 4 blocks; Lower A up-link and down-link to share the same spectrum (12 MHz), Lower B (12 MHz), Lower E (6 MHz where as Frequency Division Duplexing allows that unpaired) , Upper C (22 MHz), Upper D (10 MHz). the up-link and down-link to transmit on different These bands are highly prized chunks of spectrum frequencies. 3GGP LTE standards are planned for and a tremendous resource: the low frequency is completion by beginning of 2008, and the industry efficient and will allow for a network that doesn’t believes the first deployments of LTE network are require a dense buildout and provides better in- likely to take place at the end of 2009, beginning building penetration than higher frequency bands. of 2010. In 2005 the President signed into law the Digital In the section, we will look at the most probable Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 FDD spectrum bands suitable for the future setting February 17 2009 as the date that all U.S. , deployment of LTE but bearing in mind the TV stations must complete the transition from 3 WHITE PAPER: Spectrum Analysis for Future LTE Deployments
  • 4. analog to digital broadcasts including vacating to substantially improve end-user throughputs, the 700 MHz radio frequency spectrum thereby sector capacity and reduce user plane latency while making it fully available for new services. delivering a significantly improved user experience. UMTS can only be deployed once a full 5 MHz of The upper C block came along with “open access” spectrum is freed up and the availability of mobile rules. In the FCC’s context “open access” means devices able to support 900 MHz is not planned until that there would be “no locking and no blocking” 2008-2009 at the earliest. For these reasons some by the network operator. That is, the licensee must operators are considering keeping that freed-up GSM allow any device to be connected to the network spectrum until LTE becomes available beginning of so long as the devices are compatible with, and 2010. do not harm the network (i.e., no “locking”), and cannot impose restrictions against content, In effect, with LTE’s ability to be deployed in applications, or services that may be accessed spectrum bands as small as 1.25 MHz it provides over the network (i.e., no “blocking”). The upper good initial deployment scalability as it can be literally D block did not meet the $1.3 billion reserve “squeezed” in the GSM freed-up spectrum and grow price. This spectrum will likely be reauctioned in in that spectrum to maximize the use of whatever the future with a new set of requirements that spectrum becomes available. With the improved could give rise to a licensee capable of addressing spectrum efficiency, LTE deployment in the 900 MHz first responders’ interoperability and broadband band would bring the highest capacity benefit and requirements. also provide operators the ability to deploy an LTE network with greater coverage at a much reduced Indications are strong that in Europe, and much cost compared to higher frequency spectrum hence of the rest of the world, the so-called digital provide a good mobile broadband data countrywide dividend-the freeing up of spectrum brought about layer. by the switch from analog to digital TV- will allow a significant amount of spectrum to be carved out Finally, deploying LTE in 900MHz also bring the for wireless broadband in the UHF band. While the additional cost and logistic benefits of being able to details of the amount and location of the dividend deploy LTE at existing GSM sites as the coverage of outside of the U.S are still being debated, the GSM/LTE in 900MHz should not be dissimilar. expectation is that allocations will align with, or as closely as possible with the U.S. allocations in It is not envisioned that operators in Europe would order to facilitate Global Roaming. shut down their GSM networks as GSM still provides the backbone of voice communication and global roaming. GSM networks with EDGE or future Refarming GSM 900 MHz E-EDGE upgrade do provide a good data sub-layer The 900 MHz band is not only the most ubiquitous to hand over to, when, initially, LTE coverage will not and the most harmonized worldwide wireless available. The most likely scenario is that LTE at 900 telecommunication spectrum band available MHz could run alongside GSM900 for a 5-10 year today but also has the benefit of increased period after which time a GSM shutdown might be coverage and subsequent reduction in network considered. The willingness of operators to commit deployment costs compared to deployments at to refarming 900 MHz will in many cases hinge higher frequencies, making it a highly strategic on discussions at EU level on the continuing legal spectrum band. Furthermore, 900MHz offers applicability of the GSM Directives. improved building penetration and is particularly well suited to supporting those regions that have a IMT Extension Band predominantly rural population. WRC-2000 identified three additional bands for The ongoing subscriber migration from GSM to terrestrial IMT-2000 including 2500-2690 MHz. As UMTS taking place in over 150 countries worldwide a result, starting in 2008, as much as 140 MHz of is relieving pressure on the GSM900 networks and IMT2000 FDD expansion spectrum will be allocated is starting to free up some spectrum capacity in in Europe; 2500-2570 MHz for uplink and 2620- 2690 that band. MHz for downlink. Additionally up to 50 MHz (2570 MHz-2620 MHz) will be allocated as an unpaired In consequence many operators are evaluating the TDD band As a globally common band plan it will potential for deploying UMTS (HSPA/HSPA+) in this also enable economies of scale and global roaming. band. Compared to HSPA/HSPA+, LTE is expected Norway and Sweden have completed their auctions, 4 WHITE PAPER: Spectrum Analysis for Future LTE Deployments
  • 5. and the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and the Other Candidate Bands U.K. have auctions planned. These countries will be among the first European markets to auction GSM 1800: Interest from Americas, Asia Pac the 2500 MHz spectrum that will be used for and some countries in EMEA, especially for the mobile broadband. refarming of existing GSM spectrum. UMTS Core Band 2.1 GHz: This is the core 3-3.5G Country Spectrum Date band for EMEA and AsiaPac with deployments of networks in over 150 countries. Most operators Norway 2500 MHz - 2690 MHz Completed were awarded 2, 3 and in some limited instances Sweden 2500 MHz - 2690 MHz Completed 4 x 5 MHz carriers in this spectrum band. Most operators are so far only used one band but with United 2500 MHz - 2690 MHz Q3/Q4 2008 mobile data growth and subscriber migration to Kingdom UMTS/HSPA, it is yet unclear if and how many Germany 2500 MHz - 2690 MHz Q209 carriers will be available in that band for LTE services in 2009-2010. It is likely that LTE will be deployed in the FDD PCS 1900: Alternative to core band, which is not portion of this band due to its benefits as compared available in EMEA. Service providers may refarm to HSPA/HSPA+. In addition, this band is the only this spectrum in the U.S after new 700 MHz and one of 2 bands that offers the unique opportunity AWS spectrum is consumed. for the deployment of LTE in maximum spectrum bandwidth by providing channels of up to 20 MHz. Cellular 850: Refarm this spectrum in the U.S. In that sense, it is largely expected that current after new 700 MHz and AWS spectrum is mobile operators will try and secure the maximum consumed. 20 MHz allocation to provide them with the ability to support future mobile broadband capacity requirements. Figure 2. Candidate Bands for LTE 1 See http://www.itu.int/md/R07-WRC07-R-0001 5 WHITE PAPER: Spectrum Analysis for Future LTE Deployments
  • 6. Future Spectrum Requirements Report ITU-R M.2078 projects overall spectrum One of the goals of WRC-07 was to identify requirements for the future development of additional, harmonized, worldwide spectrum, to IMT-2000 and for IMT-Advanced. The results assert enable global roaming services while bringing that additional spectrum demand of between 500 economies of scale for vendors. In this regard, MHz and 1 GHz will be needed in all ITU Regions WRC-07 identified the 450-470 MHz and 2300-2400 by 2020. MHz bands for IMT (which includes both IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced) on a global basis. In addition, This report expresses traffic growth factors of 2 WRC-07 identified portions or all of 698-862 MHz to 3 by 2010 for Europe compared to today. It is and 3400-3600 MHz. The identification and use of clear that existing bands will not be enough for these band varies from region-to-region and country- IMT services after approximately year 2015 and to-country as detailed in the Table 1. additional bands are needed. In order to deliver a true broadband experience, large blocks of The Final Acts from WRC-07 provide full details on spectrum will need to be identified and allocated. these identifications. Tabnle 1. WRC-07 IMT Identifications WRC-07 made positive steps towards making spectrum available for future LTE deployments. In particular, WRC-07 began the process of migrating broadcast spectrum in the 698-806 MHz band to mobile applications. The next steps will be working with individual countries to ensure spectrum is recovered and licensed for mobile systems at a national or regional level around the world. In addition, achieving an internationally harmonized band plan for use of the spectrum is also important. 6 WHITE PAPER: Spectrum Analysis for Future LTE Deployments
  • 7. Conclusion The ability to take advantage of new spectrum allocations and the opportunity to potentially refarm existing GSM spectrum are two key areas that will en- able LTE deployments. Enhancing network equipment capabilities presents new deployment opportunities, economies of scale and opens up markets that were previously inaccessible. Over the next several years the spectrum landscape will change along with the complex industry dynamics and oncoming spectrum auctions in the 2.5- 2.6 GHz bands will have a direct influence on the LTE ecosystem and in which band LTE will be deployed. Furthermore the identification of new IMT mobile bands at WRC-07 (450-470 MHz, 2300-2400 MHz, 698-862 MHz and 3400- 3600 MHz) will help fulfill the projected need for future bandwidth as well as facilitate global roaming. Compared to HSPA/HSPA+, LTE is expected to substantially improve end- user throughputs, sector capacity and reduce user plane latency while delivering a significantly improved user experience. As such its likely that service providers will wait to deploy LTE in the refarmed 900 MHz and newly licensed 2.5-2.6 GHz bands. As with any new networks, the early availability of highly functional and cost effective handsets and infrastructure equipment is essential to the success of LTE. As with the legacy network technologies, it is expected that the industry will agree on a unified LTE candidate band list in order to maximize availability and economy of scale as well as enable an LTE global roaming experience similar to what subscribers are enjoying today with GSM. Motorola’s LTE roadmap supports a wide range of frequencies, aligning with the growing needs of service providers globally as new bands receive the necessary regulatory approval and service provider allocation. Operating and capital expenses will be reduced as Motorola helps you plan and optimize use of your spectrum allocations. Motorola’s extensive OFDM experience will allow our network planning team to utilize our proven and proprietary tools to optimize network architecture and topology according to your new and existing allocated frequency bands. In addition Motorola can also recommend value added applications to further increase the effectiveness and competitiveness of your network. Motorola will spawn compelling opportunities with a market leading LTE ecosystem and industry recognized services. Our Mobile Broadband solution will help you get the most out of your deployment opportunities and maximize your return on investment while enjoying the benefits of seamless mobility.
  • 8. motorola.com Part number WP-SALTE. Printed in USA 07/08. MOTOROLA and the Stylized M Logo are registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners. ©Motorola, Inc. 2008. All rights reserved. For system, product or services availability and specific information within your country, please contact your local Motorola office or Business Partner. Specifications are subject to change without notice.

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