4G Long Term Evolution LTE Bands

As an aside from the previous post the new 4G frequency bands are being rolled out throughout Europe since the start of 2013.  These operate on 800MHz and 2600MHz.

Despite 4G equipment offering higher data transfer rates (especially the 2600MHz band as high frequencies allows higher data rates) it is estimated that across Europe by 2017 there will still only be 20% coverage of 4G bands.  The roll-out of these frequencies is causing some technical problems for the networks.

In general, per Watt of power, you get better coverage (larger cells) from a lower frequency (800MHZ) than a higher frequency (2600MHz).  In addition to this the higher frequency tends to reflect more off surfaces, such as the side of a building, meaning indoor signal strength is further impeded.  Therefore the preference outside of built up areas, where smaller cells are OK, is to use the 800MHz band.  However this is causing interference with terrestrial television reception.  You may have received an at800MHz card through your door https://at800.tv/  Well it turns out that perhaps LTE 800 interferes with digital reception too!

Ofcom Statement on 800MHz DTT Interference

This means that, in addition to receiving the wanted DTT signal, they may also pick up unwanted signals from new mobile base stations that could result in interference and degraded DTT reception.

Our modelling shows that, absent any mitigation, up to 760,000 households could potentially be affected by this interference problem, although we believe there are ways of reducing this number substantially

It was thought that once the analogue switch over occurred this problem would go away… perhaps not!

The other issue mobile users will face with 4G is the number of different frequency bands LTE operates on throughout the world.  In North America, 700, 800, 1900 and 1700/2100 MHz are used; 2500 MHz in South America; 800, 900, 1800, 2600 MHz in Europe; 1800 and 2600 MHz in Asia and 1800 MHz in Australia and New Zealand.  Designing equipment and antennas for use in all of these countries is extremely difficult and will likely result in each model of phone being designed specifically for each continent – making roaming on 4G impossible.

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