LTE Frequency Bands

LTE Frequency Bands & Spectrum Allocations

LTE is designed to work across a number of frequency bands – E-UTRA operating bands- currently ranging from 450 MHz up to 3.8GHz. The available bandwidths are also flexible starting with 1.4 MHz up to 20 MHz with Carrier Aggregation allowing use of wider multiples. LTE is developed to support both the time division duplex technology (TDD) as well as frequency division duplex (FDD). Availability of specific bands varies per country and operator.

LTE frequency band spectrum allocations for 3G & 4G LTE – TDD and FDD

LTE Frequency Bands

LTE Frequency Bands

There are a growing number of LTE frequency bands that are being designated as possibilities for use with LTE. Many of the 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.

The greater likelihood is that a single UE or mobile 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.

The different LTE frequency allocations or LTE frequency bands are allocated numbers. Currently the LTE 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

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.

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.

 

From Tables 5.5-1 “E-UTRA Operating Bands” and 5.6.1-1 “E-UTRA Channel Bandwidth” of 3GPP TS 36.101,[1] the following table lists the specified frequency bands of LTE and the channel bandwidths each band supports. Superseded bands are indicated by a grey background.

E-UTRA
Band
Duplex-
Mode
ƒ
(MHz)
Common name Included in
(subset of)
Band
Uplink (UL)
BS receive
UE transmit (MHz)
Downlink (DL)
BS transmit
UE receive (MHz)
Duplex
spacing
(MHz)
Channel
bandwidths
(MHz)
1 FDD 2100 IMT 65 1920 – 1980 2110 – 2170 190 5, 10, 15, 20
2 FDD 1900 PCS blocks A-F 25 1850 – 1910 1930 – 1990 80 1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20
3 FDD 1800 DCS 1710 – 1785 1805 – 1880 95 1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20
4 FDD 1700 AWS blocks A-F (AWS-1) 66 1710 – 1755 2110 – 2155 400 1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20
5 FDD 850 CLR 26 824 – 849 869 – 894 45 1.4, 3, 5, 10
7 FDD 2600 IMT-E 2500 – 2570 2620 – 2690 120 5, 10, 15, 20
8 FDD 900 E-GSM 880 – 915 925 – 960 45 1.4, 3, 5, 10
10 FDD 1700 Extended AWS blocks A-I 66 1710 – 1770 2110 – 2170 400 5, 10, 15, 20
11 FDD 1500 Lower PDC 1427.9 – 1447.9 1475.9 – 1495.9 48 5, 10
12 FDD 700 Lower SMH blocks A/B/C 699 – 716 729 – 746 30 1.4, 3, 5, 10
13 FDD 700 Upper SMH block C 777 – 787 746 – 756 −31 5, 10
14 FDD 700 Upper SMH block D 788 – 798 758 – 768 −30 5, 10
17 FDD 700 Lower SMH blocks B/C 12 704 – 716 734 – 746 30 5, 10
18 FDD 850 Japan lower 800 26 815 – 830 860 – 875 45 5, 10, 15
19 FDD 850 Japan upper 800 26 830 – 845 875 – 890 45 5, 10, 15
20 FDD 800 EU Digital Dividend 832 – 862 791 – 821 −41 5, 10, 15, 20
21 FDD 1500 Upper PDC 1447.9 – 1462.9 1495.9 – 1510.9 48 5, 10, 15
22 FDD 3500 3410 – 3490 3510 – 3590 100 5, 10, 15, 20
24 FDD 1600 L-Band 1600 (US) 1626.5 – 1660.5 1525 – 1559 −101.5 5, 10
25 FDD 1900 Extended PCS blocks A-G 1850 – 1915 1930 – 1995 80 1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20
26 FDD 850 Extended CLR 814 – 849 859 – 894 45 1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15
27 FDD 800 SMR
(adjacent to band 5)
807 – 824 852 – 869 45 1.4, 3, 5, 10
28 FDD 700 APT 703 – 748 758 – 803 55 3, 5, 10, 15, 20
29 FDD[A 1] 700 Lower SMH blocks D/E N/A 717 – 728 N/A 3, 5, 10
30 FDD 2300  WCS blocks A/B 2305 – 2315 2350 – 2360 45 5, 10
31 FDD  450 452.5 – 457.5 462.5 – 467.5 10 1.4, 3, 5
32 FDD[A 1] 1500 L-Band (EU) 50, 75 N/A 1452 – 1496 N/A 5, 10, 15, 20
33 TDD 2100 IMT 39 1900 – 1920 N/A 5, 10, 15, 20
34 TDD  2100 IMT 2010 – 2025 N/A 5, 10, 15
35 TDD  1900  PCS (Uplink) 1850 – 1910 N/A 1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20
36 TDD  1900 PCS (Downlink) 1930 – 1990 N/A 1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20
37 TDD PCS (Duplex spacing) 1910 – 1930 N/A 5, 10, 15, 20
38 TDD 2600 IMT-E (Duplex Spacing) 41 2570 – 2620 N/A 5, 10, 15, 20
39 TDD 1900 DCS-IMT gap 1880 – 1920 N/A 5, 10, 15, 20
40 TDD  2300 2300 – 2400 N/A 5, 10, 15, 20
41 TDD  2500 BRS / EBS 2496 – 2690 N/A 5, 10, 15, 20
42 TDD  3500 3400 – 3600 N/A 5, 10, 15, 20
43 TDD  3700 3600 – 3800 N/A 5, 10, 15, 20
44 TDD  700 APT 703 – 803 N/A 3, 5, 10, 15, 20
45 TDD 1500 L-Band (China) 50 1447 – 1467 N/A 5, 10, 15, 20
46 TDD  5200   U-NII 5150 – 5925 N/A
47 TDD   5900   U-NII-4 (V2X) 5855 – 5925 N/A
48 TDD   3600  CBRS 3550 – 3700 N/A
50 TDD   1500  L-Band (EU) 1432 – 1517 N/A
51 TDD  1500  Extended L-Band (EU) 1427 – 1432 N/A
65 FDD 2100 Extended IMT 1920 – 2010 2110 – 2200 190 5, 10, 15, 20
66 FDD 1700 Extended AWS blocks A-J (AWS-1/AWS-3) 1710 – 1780 2110 – 2200[2] 400 1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20
67 FDD[A 1] 700   N/A 738 – 758 N/A 5, 10, 15, 20
68 FDD 700 ME 700 698 – 728 753 – 783 55 5, 10, 15
69 FDD[A 1] 2600 IMT-E (Duplex spacing)  N/A 2570 – 2620 N/A 5
70 FDD 2000 AWS-4 1695 – 1710 1995 – 2020 295 – 300[3] 5, 10, 15
71 FDD 600 US Digital Dividend 663 – 698 617 – 652 −46 5, 10, 15, 20
72 FDD 450 PMR/PAMR Europe 451 – 456 461 – 466 10 1.4, 3, 5
73 FDD 450 450 – 455 460 – 465 10 1.4, 3, 5
74 FDD 1500 L-Band 1500 (US) 1427 – 1470 1475 – 1518 48
75 FDD[A 1] 1500 L-Band (EU)  N/A 1432 – 1517 N/A
76 FDD[A 1] 1500 Extended L-Band (EU)  N/A 1427 – 1432 N/A
  1. Supplemental Downlink only

 

There are regular additions to the 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.

LTE bands overview

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.

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.
  • LTE Band 40: more detailed information is here
  • LTE Band 41: more detailed information is here
  • LTE Band 42: more detailed information is here

4G 5G LTE Bands Spectrum

Summary of LTE Bands and Spectrum

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.

 

LTE bands for Internet of Things (IoT)

 

LTE bands for UE category 0, M1, M2, 1bis, NB1, NB2

Increasing band
Band Name Mode UE category
cat 0 M1 / M2 cat 1bis NB1 / NB2
1 2100 FD  X  X  X
2 1900 PCS FD  X  X  X  X
3 1800+ FD  X  X  X  X
4 AWS-1 FD  X  X  X  X
5 850 FD  X  X  X  X
7 2600 FD  X  X
8 900 GSM FD  X  X  X  X
11 1500 Lower FD  X  X
12 700 a FD  X  X  X
13 700 c FD  X  X  X  X
14 700 PS FD  X  X
17 700 b FD  X
18 800 Lower FD  X  X  X
19 800 Upper FD  X  X
20 800 DD FD  X  X  X  X
21 1500 Upper FD  X  X
25 1900+ FD  X  X  X
26 850+ FD  X  X  X  X
27 800 SMR FD  X
28 700 APT FD  X  X  X  X
31 450 FD  X  X  X
39 TD 1900+ TD  X  X  X
40 TD 2300 TD  X  X
41 TD 2500 TD  X  X  X
66 AWS-3 FD  X  X  X
70 AWS-4 FD  X
71 600 FD  X  X
72 450 PMR/PAMR FD  X  X  X
73 450 APAC FD  X  X
74 L-band FD  X  X
Nb = 30 13 28 18 25

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