LTE Spectrum and Network Strategies: Strategic Options for Mobile Operators in Dynamic 4G Mobile Markets

In its latest Viewpoint “LTE Spectrum and Network Strategies”, Arthur D. Little evaluates the lessons learned from the completed LTE auctions in Europe, and assesses optimum auction and network deployment strategies for mobile operators in new, dynamic 4G markets. Spectrum auctions confirm that bidders are willing to pay significantly for 800 MHz spectrum. In Germany, the auction yielded €3.6 billion for the 800 MHz spectrum – and similar sums were paid in Italy and France. Operators have to be prepared to pay high prices for 800 MHz spectrum in upcoming auctions in Austria, the UK, Poland and the Czech Republic. Alternatively, they can side-step and acquire 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz spectrum, and deploy a hybrid UMTS network as was the strategy of e-plus in Germany and H3G in Italy. Once spectrum has been acquired, operators need to carefully optimize LTE and UMTS/HSPA network deployment. The standard option is to deploy LTE 800 MHz in rural and LTE 2600 MHz networks in urban areas. Operators that have side-stepped 800 MHz spectrum typically deploy a hybrid multiband 1800 & 2600 MHz FDD/TDD network, offering high data capacity in urban areas. Operators should also consider smart 4G network cooperation, such as Net4Mobility in Sweden, in order to save on capital and operating expenses, and increase competitiveness. The rapid growth in demand for mobile data, the speed of network deployment and the availability of LTE devices indicate that LTE uptake will be much faster than was the case with UMTS. In order to assure a strong position in dynamic 4G markets, mobile operators need to initiate smart LTE strategies now. To access the full report, please visit:

Notes for Editors

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