Vodafone And Three Buy L-Band Spectrum From Qualcomm

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Qualcomm sells 40MHz of airwaves in the 1452-1492 L-Band to UK operators

Qualcomm has sold two lots of 20MHz ‘L-Band’ spectrum to Vodafone and Three, with the airwaves earmarked for Supplemental Downlink (SDL) technology which can help meet demand for services like video during peak times.

A UK-wide licence for the bandwidth, located between 1452 and 1492MHz, was bought by Qualcomm UK Spectrum (QUKS) in 2008 for £8.3 million and was harmonised by the European Union (EU) for mobile broadband use earlier this year.

Qualcomm spectrum sale

using smartphone mobile phoneOfcom has also approved a variation of the spectrum licence, paving the way for Qualcomm to sell the frequencies to a mobile operator. Qualcomm, Three and Vodafone are not discussing financial terms of the deal and will submit formal requests to Ofcom for the transfer of the licence.

Vodafone told TechWeekEurope the airwaves would complement its 800MHz spectrum, combining the two bands together using carrier aggregation.

“We can confirm we have successfully bid for spectrum held by Qualcomm UK Spectrum, subject to conditions and Ofcom’s review the proposed trade,” added Three. “We will make no further comment until Ofcom has announced the outcome of that review process and the transaction has completed.”

L-Band can be used with both LTE and HSPA+ infrastructure, and is one of a number of spectrum bands earmarked by the GSMA to help the mobile industry keep up with the increase in traffic.

The mobile industry body is speaking to governments and regulators around the world in the hope it can secure their votes at the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC-15), which will decide how spectrum resources are allocated on a global scale.

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