LTE Frequency Bands & Spectrum Allocations

A summary and tables of the LTE frequency band spectrum allocations for 3G & 4G LTE – TDD and FDD

LTE Frequency Bands
LTE Frequency Bands

There are a growing number of 4G LTE frequency bands that are being designated as possibilities for use with LTE. Many of the 4G LTE frequency bands are already in use for other cellular systems, whereas other LTE bands are new and being introduced as other users are re-allocated spectrum elsewhere.

FDD and TDD LTE frequency bands

FDD spectrum requires pair bands, one of the uplink and one for the downlink, and TDD requires a single band as uplink and downlink are on the same frequency but time separated. As a result, there are different LTE band allocations for TDD and FDD. In some cases these bands may overlap, and it is therefore feasible, although unlikely that both TDD and FDD transmissions could be present on a particular LTE frequency band.

Often a single UE or mobile device will need to detect whether a TDD or FDD transmission should be made on a given band. UEs that roam may encounter both types on the same band. They will therefore need to detect what type of transmission is being made on that particular LTE band in its current location.  Many chipsets used in modern devices can operate with either FDD or TDD, usually within specific frequency ranges.

The different 4G LTE frequency allocations or LTE frequency bands are allocated numbers. Currently the bands between 1 & 22 are for paired spectrum, i.e. FDD, and LTE bands between 33 & 41 are for unpaired spectrum, i.e. TDD.

LTE frequency band
LTE frequency band

4G LTE frequency band definitions

FDD LTE frequency band allocations

There is a large number of allocations or radio spectrum that has been reserved for FDD, frequency division duplex, LTE use.

The FDD LTE frequency bands are paired to allow simultaneous transmission on two frequencies. The bands also have a sufficient separation to enable the transmitted signals not to unduly impair the receiver performance. If the signals are too close then the receiver may be “blocked” and the sensitivity impaired. The separation must be sufficient to enable the roll-off of the antenna filtering to give sufficient attenuation of the transmitted signal within the receive band.  FDD LTE is popular for traditional cellular operators who already have established 2G and 3G services, where spectrum is traditionally “paired” as FDD.

FDD LTE BANDS & FREQUENCIES
LTE BAND
NUMBER
UPLINK
(MHZ)
DOWNLINK
(MHZ)
WIDTH OF BAND (MHZ) DUPLEX SPACING (MHZ) BAND GAP (MHZ)
1 1920 – 1980 2110 – 2170 60 190 130
2 1850 – 1910 1930 – 1990 60 80 20
3 1710 – 1785 1805 -1880 75 95 20
4 1710 – 1755 2110 – 2155 45 400 355
5 824 – 849 869 – 894 25 45 20
6 830 – 840 875 – 885 10 35 25
7 2500 – 2570 2620 – 2690 70 120 50
8 880 – 915 925 – 960 35 45 10
9 1749.9 – 1784.9 1844.9 – 1879.9 35 95 60
10 1710 – 1770 2110 – 2170 60 400 340
11 1427.9 – 1452.9 1475.9 – 1500.9 20 48 28
12 698 – 716 728 – 746 18 30 12
13 777 – 787 746 – 756 10 31 41
14 788 – 798 758 – 768 10 30 40
15 1900 – 1920 2600 – 2620 20 700 680
16 2010 – 2025 2585 – 2600 15 575 560
17 704 – 716 734 – 746 12 30 18
18 815 – 830 860 – 875 15 45 30
19 830 – 845 875 – 890 15 45 30
20 832 – 862 791 – 821 30 41 71
21 1447.9 – 1462.9 1495.5 – 1510.9 15 48 33
22 3410 – 3500 3510 – 3600 90 100 10
23 2000 – 2020 2180 – 2200 20 180 160
24 1625.5 – 1660.5 1525 – 1559 34 101.5 135.5
25 1850 – 1915 1930 – 1995 65 80 15
26 814 – 849 859 – 894 30 / 40 10
27 807 – 824 852 – 869 17 45 28
28 703 – 748 758 – 803 45 55 10
29 n/a (DL only) 717 – 728 11  n/a
30 2305 – 2315 2350 – 2360 10 45 35
31 452.5 – 457.5 462.5 – 467.5 5 10 5
32 n/a (DL only) 1452-1496  44  n/a
65 1920-2110 2110-2200  90  190
66 1710-1780 2110-2200  90/70  400
67 n/a (DL only) 738-758  20  n/a
68 698-728 753-783  30  55
69 n/a (DL only) 2570-2620  50  n/a
70 1695-1710 1995-2020  25/15  300
252 n/a (DL only)   unlicensed 5150-5250  100  n/a
255 n/a (DL only)   unlicensed 5725-5850  125  n/a

TDD LTE frequency band allocations

With the interest in TDD LTE, there are several unpaired frequency allocations that are being prepared for LTE TDD use. The TDD LTE bands are unpaired because the uplink and downlink share the same frequency, being time multiplexed.  TDD LTE is popular in ISP and closed networks where there is either predominantly Data-centric use (rather than voice), no legacy of 2G/3G, or pressure on limited spectrum available.

TDD LTE BANDS & FREQUENCIES
LTE BAND
NUMBER
ALLOCATION (MHZ) WIDTH OF BAND (MHZ)
33 1900 – 1920 20
34 2010 – 2025 15
35 1850 – 1910 60
36 1930 – 1990 60
37 1910 – 1930 20
38 2570 – 2620 50
39 1880 – 1920 40
40 2300 – 2400 100
41 2496 – 2690 194
42 3400 – 3600 200
43 3600 – 3800 200
44 703 – 803 100
45 1447 – 1467 20
46 5150 – 5925 (unlicensed) 775
47 5855 – 5925 (unlicensed) 70
48 3550 – 3700 150

There are regular additions to the 4G LTE frequency bands / LTE spectrum allocations as a result of negotiations at the ITU regulatory meetings. These LTE allocations are resulting in part from the digital dividend, and also from the pressure caused by the ever growing need for mobile communications. Many of the new LTE spectrum allocations are relatively small, often 10 – 20MHz in bandwidth, and this is a cause for concern.

With LTE-Advanced using channel aggregation to use bandwidths of 100 MHz, channel aggregation over a wide set of frequencies many be needed, availability of sufficient spectrum has been recognised as a significant technological problem.

There are many different bands that are being allocated for use with LTE. These bands are defined on the previous page.

On this page, additional notes and information are given about these different LTE bands.

4G/LTE bands Overview

CableFree LTE-Advanced CA Base Station
CableFree LTE-Advanced CA Base Station

The number of bands allocated for use has increased as the pressure increases on spectrum.

It has not been possible for all LTE band allocations to be the same across the globe because of the different regulatory positions in different countries. It has not been possible to gain global allocations.

In some cases bands appear to overlap. This is because of the different levels of availability around the globe, where various countries have allocated the frequencies differently now and historically.  This means that roaming with LTE may have some limitations as not all handsets or UEs will be able to access the same frequencies.

Notes accompanying LTE band tabulations

There are a few notes that can give some background to the LTE bands defined in the table on the previous page.

  • LTE Band 1:   This is one of the paired bands that was defined for the 3G UTRA and 3GPP rel 99.
  • LTE Band 4:   This LTE band was introduced as a new band for the Americas at the World (Administrative) Radio Conference, WRC-2000. This international conference is where international spectrum allocations are agreed. The downlink of band 4 overlaps with the downlink for Band 1. This facilitates roaming.
  • LTE Band 9:   This band overlaps with Band 3 but has different band limits and it is also only intended for use in Japan. This enables roaming to be achieved more easily, and many terminals are defined such that that are dual band 3 + 9
  • LTE Band 10:   This band is an extension to Band 4 and may not be available everywhere. It provides an increase from 45 MHz bandwidth (paired) to 60 MHz paired.
  • LTE Band 11:   This “1500 MHz” band is identified by 3GPP as a Japanese band, but it is allocated globally to the mobile service on a “co-primary basis”.
  • LTE Band 12:   This band was previously used for broadcasting and has been released as a result of the “Digital Dividend.”
  • LTE Band 13:   This band was previously used for broadcasting and has been released as a result of the “Digital Dividend.” The duplex configuration is reversed from the standard, having the uplink higher in frequency than the downlink.
  • LTE Band 14:   This band was previously used for broadcasting and has been released as a result of the “Digital Dividend.” The duplex configuration is reversed from the standard, having the uplink higher in frequency than the downlink.
  • LTE Band 15:   This LTE band has been defined by ETSI for use in Europe, but this has not been adopted by 3GPP. This band combines two nominally TDD bands to provide one FDD band.
  • LTE Band 16:   This LTE band has been defined by ETSI for use in Europe, but this has not been adopted by 3GPP. This band combines two nominally TDD bands to provide one FDD band.
  • LTE Band 17:   This band was previously used for broadcasting and has been released as a result of the “Digital Dividend.”
  • LTE Band 20:   The duplex configuration is reversed from the standard, having the uplink higher in frequency than the downlink.
  • LTE Band 21:   This “1500 MHz” band is identified by 3GPP as a Japanese band, but it is allocated globally to the mobile service on a “co-primary basis”.
  • LTE Band 24:   The duplex configuration is reversed from the standard, having the uplink higher in frequency than the downlink.
  • LTE Band 33:   This was one of the bands defined for unpaired spectrum in Rel 99 of the 3GPP specifications.
  • LTE Band 34:   This was one of the bands defined for unpaired spectrum in Rel 99 of the 3GPP specifications.
  • LTE Band 38:   This band is in the centre band spacing between the uplink and downlink pairs of LTE band 7.
CableFree 4G LTE Spectrum Bands
CableFree 4G LTE Spectrum Bands
4G/LTE Frequency Bands
4G/LTE Frequency Bands and Spectrum

Although 3GPP can defined bands for use in LTE or any other mobile service, the actual allocations are made on an international basis by the ITU are World radio Conferences, and then the individual country administrations can allocate spectrum use in their own countries. 3GPP has no legal basis, and can only work with the various country administrations.

Frequency bands may be allocated on a primary and secondary basis. Primary users have the first access to a band, secondary users, in general, may use the band provided they do not cause interference to the primary users.

 

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