Long Term Evolution or “LTE” is a new broadband 4G wireless network standard. It is intended to offer significantly faster data speeds than traditional 3G cellular networks although not quite as fast as existing “true” 4G networks.
Previous implementation of the 450MHz band was primarily based around CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) modulated systems, now however, 450 LTE is becoming the standard due to its increased capacity, higher speeds and low latency.
Previously, most networks utilised 2G GSM and 3G cellular technology, the 450MHz band was primarily used to facilitate a low frequency option for emergency communications. With the retirement of the 2G network infrastructure and the switch to more advanced 4G and 5G networks, the 450MHz spectrum was opened to operators for other services, primarily those requiring critical communications over long distances with highly dispersed or remote connection points.
The clear difference with LTE 450 is of course the use of the low frequency. Typically cellular networks use frequencies of 900, 1800, 2100 and 2600MHz, LTE 450 uses Band 31, or 450MHz for transmission. This typically requires the inclusion of a dedicated 450 cellular module into the IoT design offering an immediate advantage in terms of potential signal congestion.
This low frequency implementation provides much wider coverage compared to higher frequencies that results in the need for lower base station utilisation and more cost-effective networks. Thinly covered points of connectivity — such as rural areas and other remote settings — were previously very difficult and expensive to access via standard mobile networks. They are therefore well suited and economical to implement using the 450 LTE approach.
There are several key advantages supported by the new network of LTE 450:
Significant increase in underground and in-building signal penetration
Increase in coverage as a result of the longer range at lower frequencies
Class 2 transmission power — up to 26dBm
Improved support for both audio and video streaming
Low cost of implementation due to existing infrastructure
Whether you operate in a commercial sector or public service, LTE 450 provides a sound critical commutations solution. LTE 450 is ideally suited to connecting business premises to the consumer (such as offices) across wide, varied locations. The most obvious user would be the utility companies and there is already a clear move to LTE 450 to move traffic away from saturated public networks.
A similar argument can easily be applied to manufacturing and engineering services using significant amounts of IoT and M2M data. Perhaps the biggest roll out has been on the smart energy grid interface to remote infrastructure such as smart meters, enabling real time continuous data from each consumer, which along with other metrics, can be sent for analysis and improved network management. In smart cities, LTE 450 plays a key role in the monitoring and control of services such as lighting, heating and waste management.
Any business looking to become smarter through digitalisation can benefit hugely from LTE 450 deployment, taking full advantage of industrial IoT management, Industry 4.0 and the movement towards fully-automated smart factory processes.
Industries that stand to benefit the most include those involved in power generation, the extraction of oil, gas and minerals, marine, agriculture, freight distribution, and farming.
LTE 450 is not new; it is already an established network option. To date, over 70 countries have allocated the 450MHz spectrum for new applications, and in over 30 of those countries, there are already active LTE 450 networks.
Europe was the early adopter, primarily driven by the desire of the energy companies to have access to a network with the advantages that LTE 450 brings — with some countries already offering more than 95% coverage.
The main challenge will be to help customers who had previously adopted CDMA technology to make the switch to LTE 450. Gradual migration utilising hybrid systems and the ability to reuse existing infrastructure will help facilitate this.
As LTE 450 deployment becomes more commonplace, designers and suppliers of cellular-enabled products are making further advances. New products using the 450MHz band include laptops, routers, modems, mobile phones and smart meters. Optimised 450MHz modules from the large modem suppliers are accelerating product development and opening many new opportunities — particularly in rural and underground applications.
The foundation for managing utility grids and smart building infrastructures with maximum efficiency is LTE 450 cellular connectivity. With the aid of smart meters, this technology ensures smooth operation in both the household and commercial sectors by balancing power supply and demand, directing renewable power management, and battery storage. Additionally, it extends its intelligent monitoring to residential and commercial structures, protecting them with cloud-based backend systems and cellular-connected smart sensors that guarantee immediate reporting of problems like leaks or unauthorized access while operating without the need for local internet connections.
This is crucial due to the exploding demand for Wi-Fi-enabled applications. Previous networks that supported a few devices and desktops now need to be able to support the ever-growing network of wearables, mobile devices and sensors that are part of our everyday life. The migration to Wi-Fi 6 and 6E solves these potential congestion problems where previous network configurations suffered reduced throughput performance as a result of the significant rise in device density.
LTE 450 strengthens smart city networks by coordinating seamless communication between interlinked gadgets and systems, ensuring a robust and smart foundation for urban management. LTE 450 is essential for everything from precise trash management via linked sensors to efficiently organizing traffic flow through ideal traffic light synchronization.
Additionally, its strong connectivity is a key component of healthcare solutions, ensuring that defibrillators and Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are continuously monitored and prepared for emergencies. This safeguards the safety of urban residents by enabling impeccable patient monitoring and ensuring the operational readiness of crucial life-supporting infrastructure.
By deploying wirelessly connected sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, LTE 450 is transforming agriculture and environmental monitoring. Real-time soil humidity sensors, GPS-enabled animal trackers, and self-driving equipment like drones and robots help farmers increase productivity while lowering waste and environmental impact.
Furthermore, LTE 450 offers extensive environmental sensing, offering monitoring of several ecological factors, from air quality in cities to early wildfire detection in forests to sustaining river water quality. As a result, it guarantees a flexible and responsive system that protects the environment while advancing agricultural methods.
Difficult to reach locations which historically have had poor mainstream network coverage benefit greatly from the wide range and deeper penetration of LTE 450 signals enabling effective connectivity which is secure, economical to deploy and easy to scale up. Some of the key benefits are:
Lower complexity and fewer required base stations mean less chance of technical failure and traffic outage. Offering a stronger more secure network than current public mainstream options LTE 450 is also inherently more secure in regard to cyber threats and is readily available with additional security protocol features. Significantly lowers cost of implementation also affords the option of back up power sources and full TX/RX redundancy.
The low frequencies used on LTE 450 have much longer wavelength and travel much further with reduced signal attenuation resulting in much improved propagation characteristics. Extended coverage can be spread over a large expanse making it ideal for connectivity in rural areas and places with remote working facilities, plants and factories.
Due to the deep signal penetration from LTE 450, IoT devices in hard-to-reach locations can better communicate with the network meaning no repeated attempts to connect and significant energy savings. Since it is already a well-established protocol in many countries, adopting LTE 450 can be a quick process, utilising existing infrastructure previously used for PMR networks enabling connectivity with a wide range of IOT devices, mobile phones and laptops. Improved signal strength means fewer base stations and cellular towers reducing installation, management and maintenance costs.
For worldwide complex organisations, it often makes sense to consolidate the multiple wireless and physical networks with LTE 450 offering a reduction in capital expense.
Having a private LTE 450 network offers a clear business case. Companies gain more control over their network, improving security and stability. How the network is developed and managed is an individual business decision and not dependent on government due process or cellular oversight committees. The network can be tailormade to a specific connectivity and communication requirement. Given the ease with which you can upgrade, grow and modify the equipment along with global compliance and 4G/5G alignment, the support of Cat-M and NB-IOT technologies, more companies are turning to the obvious advantages LTE 450 offers.
It is clear that critical connected solutions must have robust, reliable cellular connectivity as the backbone of any service. The new 450MHz LTE-M and NB-IoT cellular band provides exactly that: offering increased coverage, improved signal penetration and the use of an already existing base station infrastructure.
If you want to know more about LTE 450, our team of experienced engineers are always more than happy to chat with you. Click here to arrange a free consultation.
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