Nokia (News - Alert) recently revealed that it has completed its pre-standard testing of 600MHz on commercially available hardware. That, it said, created a test bed for terminal ecosystem development and availability.
The demonstrated involved:
- A complete end-to-end LTE (News - Alert) call using a test device
- A 20MHz frequency block on the 600MHz band
- Maximum throughput of 387Mbps
- A four-way uplink receive diversity
- 4X4 MIMO technology
- 256 QAM
The company said that winners of the 600MHz auction are likely to use the spectrum to augment capacity on their networks, extend their LTE footprints, and improve the data speeds they can support. Nokia added that cellular service providers will likely leverage 600MHz first in rural areas.
“Low-band 600MHz spectrum is ideal for covering wide areas and providing bandwidth in hard-to-reach places,” the company explained.
Nokia went on to say 600MHz can also be used to increase capacity and in-building coverage in metropolitan areas.
The Federal Communications Commission is expected to begin the first round of bidding on that spectrum on March 6. This spectrum auction is scheduled to conclude on March 30.
The upcoming auction follows the FCC’s (News - Alert) so-called incentive auction, through which it called on TV broadcasters to offer up their spectrum in exchange for a share of the proceeds. (The U.S. government gets some of the money as well.) The original reverse auction saw broadcasters free up 126MHz of spectrum in the 600MHz band.
“Forward bidding in the event ended in February with bidders committing $19.63 billion for TV broadcasters’ airwaves, surpassing TV broadcasters’ asking price of $10 billion,” FierceWireless (News - Alert) reported yesterday. “Spectrum prices reached roughly $1.257 per MHz/pop, topping $1.25 per MHz/pop in the top 40 markets. That sum is a far cry, though, from the $45 billion in bids generated by the landmark AWS-3 auction, which ended in early 2015. TV broadcasters had set an initial clearing cost at a staggering $86.4 billion for 126 MHz at the outset of the incentive auction last May, but that figure was lowered dramatically—as was the amount of spectrum made available—in subsequent rounds.”