Austrian regulator TKK completed the auction of 2.6 GHz spectrum on September 20, 2010, raising €39.5m from A1 Telekom Austria, Hutchison, T-Mobile and Orange. 14 paired and 9 unpaired frequency blocks were sold. License conditions require coverage of at least 25% of the population by 2013.

James Middleton

June 21, 2011

7 Min Read
LTE network plans: Europe


Aquafon has announced that LTE testing has been performed in Suchumi in co-operation with Megafon


Andorra Telecom plans to deploy LTE by 2012.


VivaCell-MTS soft-launched its LTE network on December 20, 2010. Network deployment is continuing towards full commercial launch scheduled for 2011 in Yerevan, expanding later to other regions.

ArmenTel (Beeline/Vimpelcom) is planning to deploy LTE. Orange organized a public demonstration of LTE at the Orange Flagship Store November 4-5, 2010.


Regulator TKK completed the auction of 2.6 GHz spectrum on September 20, 2010, raising €39.5m from A1 Telekom Austria, Hutchison, T-Mobile and Orange. 14 paired and 9 unpaired frequency blocks were sold. License conditions require coverage of at least 25% of the population by 2013. A1 Telekom Austria commercially launched LTE in parts of Vienna and St. Pölten (a regional capital) on November 5, 2010. The A1 Broadband LTE price plan offers 30 Gbytes of data for €90 per month.

T-Mobile Austria launched a 60-cell site pilot LTE network in Innsbruck in July 2009. Since October 19, 2010 service has been available to selected corporate clients (soft launch). A small group of consumers was selected in March 2011 to test and try the service and report their individual experiences on Facebook and YouTube, ahead of full commercial service launch planned later in the year.

Orange is engaged in LTE testing activities. Orange has stressed the importance of knowing which frequencies in addition to 2.6 GHz (digital dividend and refarmed spectrum) will be permitted for LTE.

3 Austria is upgrading its network and expects to have the capability to offer LTE to customers in 2011.

A further public consultation on future spectrum allocations and the liberalization of the 900 1800MHz bands closed on March 18, 2011.


BeST (Life) and MTS completed their respective LTE trials by May 1, 2011. The auction of 2.6 GHz spectrum is scheduled to start in June 2011. Digital Dividend spectrum is expected to be allocated for LTE in 2016.


MVNO and cable operator Telenet is trialing LTE in Mechelen. Mobistar is testing LTE. Belgacom (Proximus) is deploying LTE. Base plans to trial LTE. The 2.6 GHz auction is planned for October 2011.


Hrvatski Telekom demonstrated an LTE trial network for the first time in Croatia on October 26, 2010, ahead of a planned commercial network deployment.

VIPNet has demonstrated LTE in 800 MHz and plans to commercially launch LTE service in 2012.

Czech Republic

Telefonia O2 is trialling LTE.

A public consultation on use of 470-960 MHz spectrum was open for comments until April 14, 2011.


An auction of 2500-2690 MHz and 2010-2020 MHz spectrum was completed on May 10, 2010, with spectrum being awarded to Hi3G Denmark ApS; TDC A/S; Telia Nättjänster Norden AB; and Telenor A/S.

On October 12, 2010 the regulator Telestyrelsen announced that Hi3G Denmark had been granted 900 and 1800 MHz spectrum, which could be used to deploy 2G, 3G or LTE technologies nationally. Hutchison 3 plans to deploy a commercial LTE FDD network and also recently purchased 25 MHz of TDD spectrum.

Combined LTE FDD and TDD products are expected to be available from early 2012. TeliaSonera launched the first commercial LTE system in Denmark on December 9, 2010 in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense and Aalborg.

TDC has selected an infrastructure vendor to supply and manage its planned nationwide LTE network upgrade. Network deployment has begun; commercial launch is targeted initially in six cities including Copenhagen and Aarhus in 2011.


Regulator ESTA announced the award of licences for LTE in 2.6 GHz spectrum to incumbent mobile operators EMT, Elisa and Tele2 and additionally to fixed-line operator Elion Enterprises. EMT established an LTE test network in Tallinn on February 25, 2010 and launched the first commercial LTE services in Estonia on December 17, 2010 to customers in the city centers of Tallinn, Tartu, Kohila, and at the IT College of Tallinn University of Technology. Rollout of the network continues in 2011.

Tele2 Estonia is undertaking LTE trials.

Elisa publicly demonstrated LTE in Tallinn in June 2010 and on January 7, 2011 announced receipt of 2.6 GHz spectrum for commercial network deployment. Elisa is also interested in deploying LTE in 1800 MHz and in digital dividend spectrum.


2.6 GHz licenses for LTE were awarded in an auction ending 23 November 2009: Elisa obtained a 20-year license for 50 MHz, and launched a pre-commercial trial in Helsinki on June 2, 2010

TeliaSonera also acquired a 20-year license for five blocks of 2 x 5 MHz in the 2.6 GHz band and launched an LTE network on June 2, 2010 for pre-commercial use in the city of Turku ? DNA obtained 40 MHz of 2.6 GHz spectrum Finland was the first country in Europe to allow 1800 MHz spectrum to be used for LTE deployments. See the Ministry of Transport & Communications press release:

TeliaSonera launched the first commercial LTE service in Finland on November 30, 2010 in Turku and Helsinki.

Elisa announced December 8, 2010 launch of its 2.6 GHz LTE network for corporate users, and announced its first client. Elisa is trialling LTE1800 which it considers as a promising option as it covers twice the area compared to using 2.6 GHz.

DNA Oy announced signing of a 3-year contract with its infrastructure supplier which includes HSPA+ and LTE network deployments, and confirmed its target to commercially launch LTE in the largest cities in 2011.


Orange has announced plans to enhance coverage and higher capacities for mobile data and voice services, including an LTE demo platform for customers and partners in 2010, and preparations for LTE introduction (subject to availability of spectrum and user devices) from 2011.

Swisscom has been running an LTE test network in Grenchen since September 2010, and plans to launch LTE services in 2011.

Regulator ComCom has announced plans to auction digital dividend spectrum in 1H 2011.


Turkcell has been trialing LTE technology.


MTS-Ukraine is conducting an LTE trial.

ITC (CDMA Ukraine) is reported to be considering deploying LTE in the 850 MHz band. The CEO is reported as saying that if the company does decide to deploy LTE, it would not be until 2012 or 2013.

United Kingdom

O2 has tested LTE in 2.6 GHz spectrum, achieving peak data throughputs of 135 Mps DL and 64 Mbps UL in the lab and field, and lower latency. O2 has been trialing LTE800 in Carlisle since mid 2010.

Clear Mobitel is trialing LTE for rural mobile broadband access using 800 MHz in Cornwall; 300 businesses are participating. If successful, the company will seek a license for commercial rollout as a new market entrant. Arqiva is running an LTE technology trial in Wales using 800 MHz spectrum to demonstrate the economic and technical viability of a “neutral-host” wireless network.

On March 22, 2011 regulator Ofcom announced its plans in a consultation to launch the biggest ever auction of mobile spectrum in the U.K. This auction is equivalent to three quarters of the mobile spectrum in use now, and 80% more than the 3G auction (held in 2000), according to Ofcom.

The auction covers the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands. Spectrum caps and floors will apply. Ofcom says it is trying to ensure that after the auction, subject to demand, there are at least 4 holders of a minimum spectrum portfolio who are credibly capable of providing high quality data services in the future. Ofcom believes that to be a “credible national wholesaler” an operator is likely to need at least as much spectrum as one of the following minimum spectrum portfolios.

This is one of the key points in the consultation: a) 2 x 5 MHz of sub-1 GHz spectrum and 2 x 20 MHz of 2.6 GHz spectrum; or b) 2 x 5 MHz of sub-1 GHz spectrum and 2×15 MHz of 1800 MHz spectrum; or c) 2 x 10 MHz of sub-1 GHz spectrum and 2 x 15 MHz of 2.6 GHz spectrum; or d) 2 x 10 MHz of sub-1 GHz spectrum and 2 x 10 MHz of 1800 MHz spectrum; or e) 2 x 15 MHz of sub-1 GHz spectrum

Ofcom wants to start the auction in Q1 2012. The consultation closed on May 31, 2011.

Consultation document:

Ofcom has launched a consultation on long term demand for spectrum in the range 470 – 790 MHz. The deadline for submissions is June 15, 2011


MTS announced on July 28, 2010 commercial launch of the first LTE network (pre-commercial service) in the CIS and Central Asia, in Tashkent and plans significant coverage expansion. Ucell (TeliaSonera) announced commercial LTE network launch (pre-commercial service) in Tashkent on August 9, 2010.



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About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of | Follow him @telecomsjames

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