TD-LTE wholesaler to launch in UK in May

UK LTE licensee UK Broadband (UKB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong’s PCCW, has said it aims to offer commercial services from May after building out the first TD-LTE network in the country.

According to Chinese equipment vendor Huawei, which revealed details of the deployment at MWC in Barcelona last week, the rollout is the first LTE TDD 3.5GHz deployment in the world. The network will use UKB’s 124MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz and 3.6GHz bands, with 6 x 20MHz wide channels.

UKB said it went with LTE TDD because in typical scenarios, significantly more data is downloaded than uploaded and the technology allows UKB to dynamically manage the network to maximise the download capacity at all times. However, the characteristics of the available spectrum also likely had something to do with this move.

Just as US player LightSquared intended, UKB will operate a wholesale model, selling capacity on its network to partners. Unlike the US firm, UKB looks like it will go into commercial operation in May, offering coverage to the Southbank and Borough areas of Southwark, London.

The first devices, jointly developed by UKB and Huawei, include multi-mode mobile devices supporting LTE TDD/FDD and will be available from September.

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