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Motorola demonstrates industry 'first' over-the-air LTE session in 700MHz spectrum

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Motorola has announced it has completed the industry's first over-the-air Long-Term Evolution (LTE) data sessions in the 700MHz spectrum using its LTE Radio Access Test Network and LTE eNode-B platform with a prototype LTE device. The testing was achieved in Motorola labs and at an outdoor location in central Illinois.

The sessions included mobile video streaming and various high data rate applications. The demonstrations also included execution of applications priority which guarantees throughput using quality of service (QoS) aspects of the LTE standards.

"This field test shows the progress we've made in preparing to deliver a commercial LTE solution for testing and early limited deployments in 2009," said Darren McQueen, vice president, Wireless Broadband Access Technologies, Motorola Home & Networks Mobility. "We are testing our 700MHz and 2.6GHz products, which are expected for first commercial release  next year, in real-world environments to ensure our products will meet the needs of mobile carriers who want to be first to market with LTE."

The lower frequency bands provide better coverage and in-building penetration, which is a requirement for many mobile operators. In North America, the 700MHz spectrum auctioned earlier this year is part of the worldwide "digital dividend" - spectrum in the 470-862MHz bands that has been freed by the switch from analog to digital TV. The digital dividend is viewed by mobile operators in the U.S., Europe, and much of the rest of the world as a valuable resource as existing and new mobile broadband networks quickly consume current spectrum allocations and operators are pushed towards providing connections to rural areas.

In Europe digital dividend spectrum encompasses the current TV broadcast 790-862MHz bands. It is expected to be auctioned between 2009-2012, coinciding with mobile operators' plans to deploy LTE.

Motorola's LTE eNode-B architecture can be tailored to meet each customer's specific requirements by using frame based-mounted radios and remote radio heads. This design allows many spectrum bands to be supported in the early stage of LTE and accommodates a wide variety of LTE deployment scenarios across newly available spectrum as well as existing GSM, UMTS and CDMA bands. The 700MHz radio head for example, can be modified to operate in 790-862MHz to provide operators a solution to deploy LTE in the "digital dividend" spectrum as soon as it becomes available in the various regions.