UK Broadband: TD-LTE at 3.5GHz

UK Broadband switched on its first TD-LTE system in London using the 3.5GHz band with gear from Huawei. UKB will operate a wholesale model. It will work with partners to offer commercial services starting May 2012 in the businesses, consumer and public sector. The network will initially cover the Southbank and Borough areas of Southwark.

The network will use UKB’s 124MHz of spectrum in LTE bands 42 and 43 (3.5GHz and 3.6GHz). This allows the deployment of 6 x 20MHz wide channels. Technology partner Huawei noted that this is the first LTE TDD 3.5GHz deployment in the world and the first commercial LTE TDD deployment in the UK. The 3.5 GHz spectrum has a limited range, so it has generally been used only for backhaul, not mobile users.

The first devices, jointly developed by UKB and Huawei, will include indoor and outdoor units for high-speed wireless broadband to homes and businesses. Multi-mode mobile devices supporting TD-LTE, FD-LTE and 3G will be available from September 2012.

UK Broadband is a wholly owned subsidiary of PCCW Limited, the holding company of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications provider.

PCCW is the world’s largest IPTV operator. According to the CSM TV ratings panel in Hong Kong, PCCW’s NOW TV has 1,520,000 subscribers. It is one of the few operators in the world to offer quadruple play to customers. The same infotainment, applications and transactional services are made available over fixed-line, broadband Internet, mobile and TV.

Now TV is the world’s largest commercial IPTV provider. It serves Hong Kong with more than 190 channels of local, Asian and international programming. Now TV has captured the media rights of UEFA EURO 2012 to broadcast all 31 matches live in HD. Sixteen national teams will vie for the UEFA European Football Championship; between 8 June 2012 and 1 July 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

The Freeview service delivers absolutely free, off-the-air digital television, covering 90% of the population. It is jointly run by its five equal shareholders, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and transmitter operator Arqiva. More than 30 free television channels are available using the Freeview box with some 68 HD channels also available.

The UK government aims to raise £5 billion ($8 billion) from their forthcoming spectrum auction. The UK will auction 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz for the equivalent of three quarters of the mobile spectrum that is in use today. Ofcom has delayed the auction to Q4 2012 at the earliest, with a strong likelihood of the auction being delayed until 2013. The government says they are committed to providing universal access to broadband throughout the UK, with at least 90 per cent of the population covered by broadband by 2015 (Google Map).

The UK’s analogue television signals are being switched off, region by region, between 2008 and 2012. In principle, this means that all 368MHz might be available for new uses, but it was previously decided by the Government that 256MHz of the 368MHz should be used for digital terrestrial television (DTT). This digital broadcasting will be provided by six multiplexes, each of which can carry a number of television channels and some other services.

Large MSOs like Comcast, which has a 22% share of the U.S. pay TV market and controls 51% of NBCUniversal, won’t give it away.

Related Dailywireless articles include; 02: Olympic WiFi Cloud, UK Gets Free Public WiFi, Europe’s Digital Divide Auction, LTE Spectrum: It’s War, German 4G Auction: It’s Done, Auctions Winding Down in Germany & India, Germany 4G Auctions Begin, Europe to Follow, EU: Global LTE Roaming at 1.8 GHz

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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