T-Mobile Netherlands brings 2.6GHz band into play with TD-LTE

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T-Mobile Netherlands is adding a new frequency band using TD-LTE as it looks to boost data speeds for customers.

The operator is activating 120MBps of 2.6GHz spectrum with TD-LTE, having already upgraded most of its sites to be able to use the technology.

Unlike the more widely used FDD-LTE standard, which requires separate slices of spectrum to be used for uplink and downlink, TD-LTE allows the same slice to be used for both. The ratio of download and upload traffic can be varied according to need, usually to allow greater download speeds.

T-Mobile will initially activate masts in the most densely populated areas of the Netherlands. It said “a large proportion” of the network will support the new band by the end of 2017. It did not say which vendor it is working with on the project.

New smartphones, including devices from Apple and Samsung, support the technology.

T-Mobile already offers LTE-A in its existing 4G bands, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2.1GHz, which it says increases data speeds up to 30 percent.

Rachid El Hattachi, Technology Director of T-Mobile Netherlands, said: "The online behaviour of consumers is changing rapidly. The fact that we are continually developing our network means they have the freedom to download large volumes of data fast and stable. The result is that our customers can enjoy their favourite online media wherever and whenever they want."

Richard Marijs, Technology Strategist at T-Mobile Netherlands, said the operator is “creating extra lanes for 4.5G traffic.”

He said: "The technology is especially applicable for customers who do not move around at great speeds, for instance in the car or on the train. In those cases a stable uplink is particularly important, especially when making calls. That is why the European and American mobile networks have traditionally all been based on the FDD technology with a separate uplink and downlink channel.”

TD-LTE has seen uptake outside of Europe, including in the Middle East and China.

Irish operator Imagine has also rolled out TD-LTE on its network.