UMTS Spectrum Allocation

More than 120 licences have been given to operator networks throughout the globe for the use of W-CDMA technology. The cost of these licences where huge, the licences were auctioned by the governments, this money was then put back into public budgets. Germanyís operators alone paid 50.8 bullion euros for UMTS licences, although arenít expected to start seeing income until 2005.

The ITU have allocated a band of frequencies to UMTS. In the USA these frequencies are already in use. The 1900MHz range is currently used for 2G services, and the military uses 2100MHz. The FCC is attempting to make the 2100MHz band available for 3G purposes, although the 1900MHz band used by current US 2G services, these services wonít stop overnight, so 3G will have to share the band with the 2G services. The rest of the world wonít have this problem, as they currently use the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, and so do not conflict with UMTS standards.

There is no official answer to what spectrum 3G will operate under in the US, until the FCC decide spectrum for UMTS to operate on. AT&T are currently using the 1900MHz services to provide UMTS capabilities.