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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Back to low-power GSM: licence exempt?

I'm at eComm in Amsterdam - and currently listening to a very interesting presentation from James Body (historically with Truphone but wearing a different hat today).

A few years ago, I wrote about the UK's low-power GSM auctions, and the subsequent slow-burn deployment of various GSM picocell-based services from companies like Teleware. It's never really lived up to its promise, though.

I hadn't realised this before, but apparently it is now legal to deploy low-power GSM in the guard band in the Netherlands, *licence-free*. I'm not sure exactly how this is implemented, as presumably there needs to be some sort of coordination to manage interference. Maybe you act as "your own MVNO"? One of the audience reported that the Dutch military was already using this option to build their own mini GSM networks on their bases and ships.

More interesting still - apparently this approach conceivably be rolled out Europe-wide. Worth watching....

1 comment:

MvdH said...

Hi Dean, This license free band will be an interesting experiment in NL. We are rolling out services (mainly to improve coverage)but found out (like the UK operators did) that it won't work without macro roaming. We have now solved it by bringing a MVNE (teleena.com) together with a Picocell provider (RadioAccess.nl who does the MoD project). This should be a showcase and hopefully many countries follow. Many countries have Dect Guard Band spectrum and many get back frequencies as a result of mergers of MNOs.