Alcatel-Lucent successfully completed the worldwide first LTE data call on the 800 MHz European Digital Dividend (EDD) spectrum band in a live network. The call, which was completed at the company’s 4G/LTE end-to-end solutions center in Stuttgart, Germany, involved transmitting high-definition video streaming over the air using its commercial infrastructure platforms and prototype mobile devices.

This first EDD call in a live LTE network marks a milestone for the introduction of LTE in the European market, and highlights Alcatel-Lucent’s readiness to provide mobile operators with a commercial solution as soon as regulatory decisions on EDD are made. In Germany, for instance, a frequency auction including the 800 MHz spectrum band is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2010.

Deploying LTE at 800 MHz is claimed to have a clear benefit for operators, which can require fewer sites to cover rural areas, thus reducing overall environmental impact. 800 MHz spectrum LTE deployment could be an ideal complement to a 2.6 GHz spectrum LTE deployment where smaller cells are required, in a dense urban environment for example. Alcatel-Lucent has live 2.6 GHz LTE networks in Stuttgart and Vélizy in France and its 2.6 GHz radio modules are CE marked, clearing the way for shipment of 2.6 GHz LTE base stations in the European Economic Area (EEA).

“This is a major breakthrough on our path to become the first vendor to offer a commercial solution for the ´Digital Dividend` spectrum,” said Ken Wirth, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s LTE/4G Solutions. “Our goal is to quickly and effectively support operators in their plans to further enhance the availability of broadband services all over the region, so we adapted our LTE solution to the 800 MHz frequency band quite early on and we are now working with customers on field trials.”