UK Broadband has today (1 March 2012) switched on its first 4G LTE system in London. This is the first TD-LTE 3.5GHz deployment in the world and the first commercial 4G deployment in the UK. UK Broadband (UKB) is building its network using Huawei’s Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) solution.
UKB will operate a wholesale model, working with partners to offer commercial services from May 2012 to businesses, consumers and the public sector. The network will initially cover the Southbank and Borough areas of Southwark.
The network will use UKB’s 124MHz of spectrum in LTE bands 42 and 43 (3.5GHz and 3.6GHz). This allows the deployment of 6 x 20MHz wide channels that will enable UKB to deliver LTE Advanced speeds and enough capacity across the network to deliver Next Generation Access superfast broadband speeds to a large number of users simultaneously.
The first devices, jointly developed by UKB and Huawei, include indoor and outdoor units for high-speed wireless broadband to homes and businesses within the coverage area. Multi-mode mobile devices supporting TD-LTE, FD-LTE and 3G will be available from September 2012.
“We’re very excited to be switching on our first TD-LTE system in the UK using our 4G spectrum,’ said Nicholas James, UKB’s CEO (pictured). ‘We’re working with Huawei because we believe they have the expertise and experience we need to deliver the best solution.’
Victor Zhang, CEO of Huawei UK added: ‘Utilising Huawei’s equipment, UKB’s spectrum and our combined expertise, the availability of LTE in the UK from today will give a significant boost to the UK Government’s broadband agenda. We are proud to be involved in this project and are dedicated to supporting UKB and the Government to help connect more people to high speed wireless broadband networks.’
UKB’s business model is to build bespoke LTE coverage – large or small – that delivers solutions to where there is demand for high speed wireless/mobile data capacity. Usually this will be as a result of developing a solution for an anchor or core customer.
UKB has chosen TD-LTE because typically, significantly more data is downloaded than uploaded. Designed specifically to meeting the growing demand for data capacity, TD-LTE allows UKB to dynamically manage the network to maximise the download capacity at all times, optimising both the technology and the wide spectrum bands it has available to deliver a very high download capacity.
UK Broadband is the UK's largest commercial holder radio spectrum suitable for 4G mobile services and fixed wireless solutions. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of PCCW Ltd, the holding company of HKT, the Hong Kong telecommunications provider.