Tag: 900Mhz

GSA says UMTS900 provides better and cheaper 3G coverage

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osciloscope

The average BlackBerry user likely doesn’t think much about technology behind the networks that provide their daily communication fix, but it plays an important role in both the cost and coverage of their BlackBerry. The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has published an operator case study on Finland’s Elisa network which it says shows significant cost and coverage benefits of deploying 3G services in the 900 MHz spectrum band.

According to Dr. Eetu Prieur, Head of Access Networks for Elisa, “3G coverage with UMTS900 can save 50 to 70% of our mobile network costs versus UMTS2100. And that includes both CAPEX and OPEX.”

While the majority of 3G/HSPA networks operate in the 2100 MHz band, lower frequencies provide a much larger coverage area when compared to 2100 MHz. In Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, carriers use the 900 Mhz band, which cuts the number of cell sites needed to cover rural and suburban areas in half, providing major CAPEX and OPEX savings for 3G deployments. In North America, we rely upon the 850 MHz band, which provides the same coverage and savings benefits.

So what does this all mean? The next time you’re in a rural area reading BBCool on your BlackBerry with 3G coverage, thank low frequency bands like 850/900. Of course, because of the lack of international standardization, if you have a North American Bold, good luck getting the same coverage in, say, rural France (the Charente region is lovely this time of year). Oh well.

Download the GSA 3G report

(via CN)

EU wants to open up 900 MHz beyond GSM

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GavelInteresting news coming straight out of Brussels today via Cellular-News. They’re reporting that the European Commission will has proposed abolishing a 1987 rule which limits the use of the low frequency/cost 900 MHz spectrum to GSM services. Since 1987, European Union rules have set aside the frequencies between 900 MHz and 1800 MHz exclusively for GSM phones, which helped the E.U. roll out mobile phone services cheaply and quickly.

If the commission is successful, telecoms will be able to use the cheaper spectrum for services like video, data streaming and broadband Internet, estimating that the move would cut the costs of maintaining wireless mobile networks by 40% for the industry.

Obviously no word yet on if those savings would be passed onto the consumer (unlikely), but BBCool will keep you informed. The commission expects the measure to be passed into law by the end of the year. What do you think, folks: good move or bad for our friends in Europe?