fixed wirelessNokia claimed a 600 MHz LTE equipment first today, announcing that it has completed the first pre-standard 600 MHz LTE call using commercially available equipment. The winning bidders in the FCC’s auction of 600 MHz spectrum are expected to use the spectrum to expand their LTE footprints, as well as shore up capacity and enhance network transport speeds. Nokia is developing two new, pre-standard 600 MHz products and services portfolios to help them do so.

The U.S. was the first country in the world in which large-scale commercial 4G LTE networks were launched, the FCC highlights on the landing page for the Broadband Incentive Auction section of its website. “Repurposing”  TV broadcast spectrum voluntarily relinquished by licensees is the focal point of the FCC’s Broadband Incentive Auction, which was launched March 29, 2016. Now that bidders have satisfied the required conditions set out in the reverse auction’s “final stage rule,” results are expected to be announced March 29.

According to the FCC, the reverse auction satisfied the conditions of the final-stage rule as of Jan. 18. That assures the auction will comprise 84 MHz of low-band, 600MHz spectrum. That includes 70MHz of licensed spectrum and 14MHz for unlicensed use.

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600 MHz LTE Equipment
Nokia is aiming to get a jump on the competition with its new 4.5G Pro and 4.9G 600MHz wireless/mobile telecom equipment and devices. The products will be ready and available for wireless/mobile carriers aiming to deploy 600 MHz radio electronics this year, management says. The company said it tested a 600 MHz solution on its commercial LTE eNodeB platform. Results demonstrated:

  • A complete end-to-end LTE call using a test device
  • 20 MHz frequency block on the 600 MHz band
  • Maximum throughput of 387 Mbps
  • 4 way uplink receive diversity
  • 4X4 MIMO technology
  • 256 QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation)

Low-band frequency spectrum makes it feasible for wireless network carriers to build large size cells. As a result, Nokia expects winning auction bidders initially will make use of their re-purposed spectrum rights to extend wireless/mobile broadband network coverage to rural areas.

In addition, 600 MHz spectrum could be used to improve the quality of mobile and wireless network services in metropolitan areas by increasing capacity and improving indoor coverage, the company says.

Ricky Corker, who leads Nokia in North America had this to say regarding the company’s pre-standard 600 MHz equipment testing and the impending launch of its 4.5G Pro and 4.9G product portfolios: “We’ve been anticipating the end of the 600 MHz auction, and we haven’t waited. Nokia has been doing the necessary development, testing and software creation over the last several quarters. We are ready to work from day one with those customers who want to bring 600 MHz to market.”

Image courtesy of flickr user Stefano Brivio.

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