FarEasTone claims world first APT700 Launch

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Taiwanese operator FarEasTone (FET) has become the first operator in the world to launch commercial LTE services in the APT700 band, according to Swedish vendor Ericsson, which supplied the network equipment for the launch. FET won  both APT700 and 1800Mhz spectrum in the market’s October 2013 auction.

The propagation characteristics of 700MHz are ideal for rural coverage as well as indoor urban penetration, making the business case for widespread deployment of LTE service coverage more attractive, according to Australian operator Telstra, the GSMA and the GSA, which launched a joint lobbying effort seeking worldwide adoption of the band in September last year.

The main obstacle has been persuading regulators and operators around the world to agree on common and interoperable frequency allocations—not only to facilitate roaming but to drive economies of scale and the creation of a global ecosystem.

Ericsson said the APT700 band is gaining traction in Asia Pacific and Latin America and has “the potential to serve over 2.1 billion people”.

Yvonne Li, President of FarEasTone, said: “We are proud to roll out the first commercial LTE network in the world on the APT700 band. Through our long and successful relationship with Ericsson, we achieved another significant advancement in the telecom industry.”