Orange to Test Additional Frequencies in Supplemental Downlink Mode with Ericsson and Qualcomm
The French telecoms regulator, Arcep, has authorized Orange France to test the use of frequencies in the L-band to provide mobile broadband systems with supplemental downlink capacity.
The objective will be to assess the potential of using additional frequencies to boost capacity of UMTS and LTE networks regardless of the country or operator. Supplemental downlink, in this case using the L-band, is a technology that allows a boost in network capacity by exploiting inter-band multi-carrier technology standardized set by the 3GPP.
On 28 June, Arcep authorised Orange France to use frequencies in the 1,452-1,492 MHz band, commonly named the L-band, to conduct tests on mobile broadband downlink. This trial, conducted jointly by Orange, Ericsson and Qualcomm, aims to demonstrate the technology's performance and to stimulate the global emergence of mobile broadband solutions in the future.
The trial will be carried out on Orange France's network in Toulouse during the first quarter of 2013 and will use Ericsson base stations and devices using Qualcomm chipsets. Both the base stations and the devices will use supplementary carrier frequencies in the L-band for downlink operations, combined with a traditional paired carrier at 2.1 GHz. The technology will support existing features of inter-band multi-carrier technology standardized in 3GPP.
The roll-out of the trial network will start towards the end of 2012.
L-band frequencies have all the required technical properties to absorb increasing demand for downlink bandwidth on mobile broadband networks, as a complement to UMTS and LTE network capacity. They offer the prospect of even faster downloads and smoother user experience.
This is why the CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations), which is responsible for issuing decisions for the harmonized use of the L-band in Europe, considers the reattribution of some spectrum currently reserved for digital audio broadcasting to mobile broadband as a relevant option given the continuing growth of mobile broadband use and the increasing volume of data flowing through networks.
On 27-29th June, the CEPT technical commission has been invited to express its opinion on the allocation of available L-band spectrum to mobile telephony.
On a global scale, recommendations made by the CEPT will also influence discussions and work on the harmonization of spectrum for mobile broadband that will be undertaken by the International Telecommunication Union - Radiocommunication (ITU-R) at the next World Radio Conference (WRC) in 2015.