Wednesday 16 July 2008

Momentum Building for UMTS 900MHz

According to a recent paper published by GSA, momentum is building for introducing UMTS 900 i.e. WCDMA-HSPA systems in 900 MHz band, used today by GSM/EDGE networks, to help operators to extend voice, data and mobile broadband services coverage by leveraging the advantages of lower frequencies. UMTS 900 is on the roadmap of several manufacturers. Three
commercial UMTS 900 systems have launched, and 20 user devices have been announced by 6 manufacturers.

I have blogged on 900Mhz band in past. Technical specifications for WCDMA-HSDPA in the 900 MHz band (UMTS 900) were completed by 3GPP in December 2005. The 900 MHz band, denoted as Band Class VIII, is defined as paired bands in the range 880 to 915 MHz (uplink), and 925 to 960 MHz (downlink).

A Manx Telecom trial confirmed 30% improved inbuilding penetration compared to 2100 MHz, and 40% in deep indoor penetration. With HSDPA, throughput could increase by 10%, raising overall network capacity 5%. A key finding was the ability to hand over calls between base stations operating at different frequencies. The trial confirmed a GSM 900 operator could re-use sites for UMTS without having to redesign and re-deploy the network, thus significantly reducing operational costs.

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