Nokia Siemens Networks and Nokia have jointly conducted the world’s first end-to-end LTE data call with Nokia Siemens Networks’ commercial equipment on the 800 MHz frequency band. This spectrum is popularly known as the Digital Dividend, becoming available as terrestrial TV moves from analog to digital broadcasting.* The successful interoperability tests mark a decisive step forward in the commercialization of LTE on this band, particularly hastening deployment in rural areas.
Due to its inherently attractive propagation capabilities, the Digital Dividend spectrum is ideal to provide rapid and cost efficient mobile broadband services. With the frequency band being freed up by regulators and assigned for LTE usage, the timing of these tests is most opportune, as it helps Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks deliver upon their commitment to bring commercial LTE 800 to operators’ networks as soon as possible.
The tests, conducted at Nokia Siemens Networks’ LTE Center of Competence in Espoo, Finland, follow the company’s commencement of production of LTE-ready Flexi Multiradio Base Stations for the 800 MHz band in April this year, and complement earlier tests with Nokia on the 2100 MHz and 2600 MHz bands.
The two companies demonstrated the end-to-end interoperability of Nokia Siemens Networks’ LTE network infrastructure with Nokia’s LTE-capable multi-mode multi-band Internet Modem RD-3. Infrastructure from Nokia Siemens Networks includes its Single RAN, featuring the Flexi Multiradio Base Station, the Evolved Packet Core comprising Flexi NS (Network Server) and Flexi NG (Network Gateway), and standard-compliant software.
“These tests are part of a larger campaign which includes various customer trials and demonstrations to make LTE on 800 MHz commercially viable by this summer,” added Reino Tammela, head of LTE business line, Nokia Siemens Networks. “Right after the first Digital Dividend spectrum was assigned to operators in the spectrum auction in Germany in May, it was important that standard compliant LTE network products and LTE user devices for this band become commercially available. This will enable successful rapid LTE network rollouts allowing end users to experience high speed and high quality mobile broadband services in rural areas with a large variety of terminals.”
*The longer range of the 800 MHz band allows operators to cover a given area with fewer sites, as compared to higher frequencies. Operators deploying LTE in 800 MHz can easily achieve the same coverage as GSM (900 MHz) networks using their existing base station sites, allowing them to take a big step towards the vision of providing universal broadband. (Refer to Nokia Siemens Networks gears up to exploit Digital Dividend press release dated April 21, 2010. )