Frequency Bands and Bandwidths

I’ve asked myself today of how much space there really is in all the different bands being discussed for mobile services in the future compared to the bands used today. Here’s a list of some of them:

Digital Dividend Band in Europe:

790 – 862 MHz (with a rumored duplex gap of 12 MHz)
30 MHz for each direction

Classic 900 MHz band in Europe for GSM
880-915 uplink, 925-960 MHz downlink
35 MHz for each direction

Classic 1800 MHz band in Europe for GSM
1710-1785 (uplink) 1805-1880 (downlink)
75 MHz for each direction

Classic 2100 MHz band in Europe for UMTS

1920-1980 MHz (uplink), 2110-2170 (downlink)
60 MHz for each direction

ITU-2000 band for LTE
2500-2570 (uplink), 2620-2690 (downlink)
70 MHz for each direction

So when comparing these numbers, the European digital dividend band looks pretty small with its 30 MHz. That’s 10 MHz for 3 operators or one operator with 20 MHz and another one with 10. So it won’t even be enough for two network operators wanting to use 20 MHz LTE carriers. Further note: Neither the 3GPP UTRAN spec (TS 25.101) nor the 3GPP LTE spec (TS 36.101) do yet contain an operating band number for this region.

In the US, the digital dividend band seems to be even narrower. Both Verizon and AT&T only have 2×10 MHz chunks. Not a lot of room to maneuver in.