800MHz band (also known as 790-862 MHz, channels 61 to 69 in UHF Bands IV and V) was previously used by analog broadcasting, and is particularly suitable for delivery of high-bandwidth services and indoor coverage.
UK regulator Ofcom is pushing to clear the 800MHz band of existing and previously planned users and align the upper band of the UK’s digital dividend with the spectrum being identified for release by an increasing number of other European countries. The reason behind this move is that this spectrum is likely to be particularly suitable for the provision of a new generation of mobile broadband services.
A 3GPP work item is currently under works to provide specification for "UMTS/LTE in 800 MHz for Europe" to provide support for LTE and UMTS with paired channel arrangement in the band 790-862 MHz.
Based on 3GPP work item the 790-862 MHz band is arranged as 2x30 MHz with 11 MHz duplex gap:
- FDD Uplink: 832 – 862 MHz
- FDD Downlink: 791 – 821 MHz
The tasks identified by 3GPP in this work item includes, study of UMTS/LTE in upper UHF band for a potential deployment in ITU Region 1, generate a new technical report based on study results and develop channel arrangement in line with the pending ECC decision.
The target date set by the EC for analog switch-off in EU member countries is 2012. Finland, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain and Denmark have already decided to release the whole of the 800 MHz band, with others likely to follow. More speed is both necessary and desirable to fully realize the benefits.