Qualcomm To Sell 1.4GHz ‘L-Band’ Spectrum To UK Operators

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 says airwaves can help improve 4G and 3G speeds using SDL technology

Qualcomm has put its UK L-Band spectrum up for sale, suggesting the 1.4GHz bandwidth could be used by mobile operators to boost 4G and 3G download capacity.

The San Diego-based firm bought 40MHz worth of L-band airwaves in 2008 for £8.3 million and has been working on Supplemental Downlink (SDL) technology, which it is claimed can aid existing LTE and HSPA+ infrastructure.

Its licence covers the entire of the UK, meaning it could attract the attention of EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.

Qualcomm spectrum sale

using smartphone mobile phone“The European Commission recently voted for the release of L-Band (1452-1492 MHz) spectrum throughout the European Union for use as Supplemental Downlink (SDL),” a Qualcomm spokesperson told TechWeekEurope. “Qualcomm believes that SDL can be key to meet the increase of 4G mobile data traffic globally that is downlink centric.

“Qualcomm UK Spectrum (QUKS), Qualcomm’s subsidiary that owns L-Band spectrum rights in the UK, plans to trade this spectrum. Now that the L-band is harmonized and mandated by the EU for mobile broadband SDL and the technical terms of QUKS’s license were varied by Ofcom to allow SDL to be deployed, QUKS now plans to offer its spectrum for sale.”

The L-Band is one of a number of spectrum bands earmarked by the GSMA to help the mobile industry keep up with the increase in traffic. It 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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