Overlay strategies for 700 MHz LTE deployments
by Frank Hall
Implementation of Long Term Evolution (LTE) at 700 MHz in North America calls for a cost-effective and rapid rollout. LTE provides wireless carriers with a common next generation (4G) platform and delivers much higher data rates. Deploying this technology in the 700MHz band allows for more efficient RF propagation and greater structural penetration. However, there are also issues with 700 MHz associated with a multitude of interference scenarios. And while an independent service overlay would be the easiest and cleanest approach, the advantages are far outweighed by the cost and impact on real estate. Co-locating new infrastructure while allowing different services to share physical resources such as transmission lines, feeder cables and antennas, will enable operators to realize significant savings in capex and opex, and improve time to market. As 4G services gain traction, robust and optimized network operation at 700 MHz will ensure a smooth migration of LTE into the Cellular, PCS and AWS bands.