The 450 Alliance - the international association of 450 MHz which Intelliport has been an active member since 2016 - aims to present the global state of the 410 MHz and 450 MHz ecosystem with focus on the devices and systems currently available. There are currently 13 LTE operations with commercial traffic and another 7 operation with trial networks. CDMA networks are still very dominant technology in the 410 MHz and 450 MHz and the regulatory work for converting the licenses are an obstacle in the progress of evolving to 4G. Europe is currently leading the evolution from CDMA to LTE with Asia and South America moving.The aimwith this reporti s to enable operators a simple entry to the 450 MHz ecosystem for their business and enable business for the supplier to provide equipment to the operators. We are particularly proud that the authors of the report have included various Intelliport devices -, as one of the most experienced national player of 450 MHz ecosystem- in the focus of this study. Among our routers and bridges, the IPS-133,230,231,237,239,330,500, while among our smart meters our electricity meter (IPS-510,511), gas meter (IPS-520) and water meter gateway (IPS-530) were also under scrutiny.
The major development in the last 12 months has been the spectrumallocation in Germany, which is currently one of the main markets driving LTE progress for the lower bands. Most operators that have the spectrum licenses in the 400MHz bands are still not technology neutral and require regulatory updates to be able to implement LTE. The trend is that the 400 MHz spectrum band are allocated to private networks typical Utilities, Public Safety and Transport. The advantage is the predictability of the operation, it will be stable and controlled since the network is deployed with a dedicated business as a base. Due to the conversion of the businessmodelthe number of operators willdecrease temporarilybefore new allocation have been awarded. There are more than twenty networks actively investing in LTE globally.
Spectrum of overview
The LTE bands available in the 380 MHz to 512 MHz are currently:
Band 31(450 MHz)
Band 72(450 MHz)
Band 73(450 MHz)
Band 87(410 MHz)
Band 88(410 MHz)
All bands are standardized to support LTE, LTE-M and LTE-NB (NB-IoT).
Ongoing strategic work with TCCA, UTCand other parties in the ecosystem are progressing to identify spectrum allocation in the 380 MHz and 470 MHz bands.
The range of devices in the 410 MHz and 450 MHz is good in relation to the number of commercial operations and fairly limited in relation to the global mobile industry with main volumes in different router devices. Other types ofdevices are meters and handhelds mobiles, these have increased in availability during the last twelve months. The routertypes available rangefrom simple consumer product to advance specialized industrial routers. The handheld devices are mainly rugged and robust smartphones. Mostof devices supports multiband. To give complete view of the ecosystem this report also includes eNB, chipset, modules and antennas for both network and devices. Modules are the enabler ofmanydevices and the devices suppliers are to a high degree sourcing this from third parties. Currently NB-IoT and LTE-M are the dominant technologies for chipsets and modules and therefore narrowband devices but router and handheld devices are still mainlybased onCat.4modules.
Devicesand Spectrum data from GSA(the Global mobile Suppliers Association)
The GSA report for Sub 1 GHz Spectrum for LTE and 5G lists the spectrum allocations and the number of devices in each spectrum. There are 14 operation investing in systemsglobally and 187 devices available according to the December 2020 report.
Table 2.GSA table of devices supporting sub 1GHz spectrum bandsas of December 2020.
Source: GSA(the Global mobile Suppliers Association).GSA have only reported Band 31.Several chipsets have support for Band 72and the devices have it has option.
410 MHz and 450 MHz device listed by 450 MHz Alliance
The annual inventory by 450 MHz Alliance collects information from all operator and supplier with any connect to the organization. The categories used are
Routers and MiFis
Utility meters (Electricity, gas, water..)
Other (including wearables, cameras,donglesetc.)
The productsand devicesreported to 450 MHz Alliance can be seen in figure 3and include both the commercially available, engineering sample availability and the devicesin road map.
The evolvement toward LTE of the spectrum in 380 MHz to 512 MHz is expected to increase. Bandwidth and coverage requirements for private and closed network as well as public network for rural communication are getting more interest and with this also an increased interest for the lower spectrum bands. With only twenty active operation and spectrum allocated in over seventy countriesthe expansion can be very fast. The ongoing consultations and the interest from government and companies are likely to drive the ecosystem even faster.