Orange Poland, T-Mobile Poland agree new spectrum division

Orange Poland and T-Mobile Poland signed an agreement to increase their LTE network capacity by around 40 percent by 2020, reported The companies promised to build and upgrade transmitters as part of their network-sharing joint venture.

The earlier announced termination of spectrum sharing in the bands 1800 MHz and 900 MHz was justified by the spokesman of Orange Poland, Wojciech Jabczynski, as optimising spectrum usage. In the 1800 MHz band, the operators will move from sharing 2×15 MHz to two carriers of 2×10 MHz. That means a reduction in the spectrum for 2G and enabling a 33 percent increase in resources for LTE in this band. In the 900 MHz band, instead of the jointly used block of 2×4.2 MHz for 3G, each operator will have 2×4.2 MHz. Also here, the change means a reduction in spectrum used for 2G.

In addition, each operator will allocate 2×10 MHz in the 2,100 MHz band for LTE services. That means that one carrier of 2×5 MHz will remain for 3G services. After the change, each operator will have in total 2×45 MHz for LTE services.

The change in usage of the 900 MHz band will be implemented by the end of the year and the 1,800 MHz band by 2019-2020. Based on the portal’s information from the so-called BTS hunters, in a small part of the country, both frequency bands are divided and LTE services in the 2100 MHz implemented already.

T-Mobile plans to launch LTE 2100 in 12 urban agglomerrations: Warsaw, Tricity, Bydgoszcz, Olsztyn, Torun, GOP, Krakow, Poznan, Szczecin, Wroclaw, Lodz and Lublin. Orange spokesman Wojciech Jabczynski said that the agreement does not indicate a termination of the cooperation within the JV Networks!, but only withdrawing from the cooperation in spectrum sharing (so-called MOCN, Multi-Operator Core Network).

The operators will continue to share infrastructure (access to radio network) under the model MoRAN (Mobile Operator Radio Access Network). Clients will not lose access to base stations and should benefit from a better quality network.

The operators began sharing frequencies in 2013 after Orange failed in the tender for frequencies in the 1,800 MHz band, then the only band for LTE. T-Mobile agreed to provide access to the spectrum in exchange for investment by Orange in the LTE 1800 network. The cooperation was later extended to the UMTS 900 network. Later, both operators increased their resources for LTE with frequencies from the bands 800 MHz and 2600 MHz.

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