Last year two network operators in Germany have each won 20 MHz spectrum in the new 1400 MHz band. The interesting thing about that piece of spectrum was that it’s uni-directional, i.e. it can only be used for downlink-only transmission or, theoretically, also for TD-LTE. At the time it wasn’t quite clear to me how the spectrum is going to be used. In the meantime, however, 3GPP has defined how to use the band.
As documented on Wikipedia, the frequency band between 1452 and 1496 MHz has been assigned band number 32. From the entry there it’s clear that it is assigned for FDD-LTE use. As there is no uplink the only way it can be used is as a secondary-cell (S-cell) in an LTE carrier aggregation scenario. That makes a lot of sense as pretty much all Carrier Aggregation scenarios today, even if 3 downlink carriers are bundled, only use one of the carriers for uplink data transfer. So using one band that doesn’t have any uplink is quite economical from that point of view.
So far it’s all theory. One network operator, however, has already publicly announced that they will make use of the spectrum in Germany, Italy and the UK. From the one of the pictures in the article, though, it won’t before 2018.