What if Sprint / Clearwire went for FDD LTE in the 2.6 GHz Band?

We've come to a point at which advanced baseband chipsets and transceiver frontends support pentaband UMTS (e.g. most of the current Symbian^3 based devices such as the Nokia N8, C7, etc.). In other words, global UMTS roaming is now finally ensured with 900 and 2100 MHz bands used in Europe and elsewhere and 850, 1900 and 1700/2100 MHz bands in North America. But with LTE the story repeats itself all over again. In Europe three bands are currently used for LTE deployments, namely the 800 MHz digital dividend band, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz. In the US, the 700 MHz band is currently used for LTE by Verizon. However, there is one band the two regions have in common, the 2600 MHz band (LTE band 7). Unfortunately at the moment the use is different. While in Europe band 7 has been split up between several carriers in those countries who had auctions recently, the band is almost in full possession by Clearwire in the US. And Clearwire is using TDD WiMAX in the band exclusively. However, they are thinking about jumping on the LTE bandwagon and a trialing both the TDD and FDD flavor of LTE (see here). So imagine what would happen if Clearwire would start adopting the FDD flavor of LTE in that band. It would mean that for the first time there is a single band that is used with the same technology worldwide, except, perhaps, Japan. Not only would it be good for international roaming but Clearwire would instantly have access to any devices produced for the European market. In wonder if it will happen, I guess it could go several ways.

3 thoughts on “What if Sprint / Clearwire went for FDD LTE in the 2.6 GHz Band?”

  1. Allthough there are pentaband UMTS devices available, afaik none supports RX diversity for more than two frequency bands. I guess this multiband world will become even more complex with LTE where RX diversity is essential, isn’t it?

  2. It would be nice if there were a bit more of harmony in the bands between countries. Why to make it simple if we can make it very complicated?

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