Some Musings About LTE on Band 3 (1800 MHz)

It's 2014 and there is no doubt that LTE on Band 3 (1800 MHz) has become very successful and the Global mobile Supplier's Association (GSA) even states that "1800 MHz [is the] Prime Band for LTE Deployments Worldwide". When looking back 5 years to 2009/2010 when first network operators began deploying LTE networks, this was far from certain.

Quite the contrary, deploying LTE in 1800 MHz was seen by many I talked to at the time as a bit of a gamble. At the time, the general thinking, for example in Germany, was more focused on 800 MHz (band 20) and 2600 MHz (band 7) deployments. But as the GSA's statement shows, that the gamble has paid out. Range is said to be much better compared to band 7 so operators who went for this band in auctions or could re-farm it from spectrum they already had for GSM have an interesting advantage today over those who need to use the 2600 MHz band to increase their transmission speeds beyond the capabilities of their 10 MHz channels in the 800 MHz band.

To me, an interesting reminder that the future is far from predictable…