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LTE Options Sint Maarten


Bureau Telecommunications & Post

Consultation Document
September 17
, 2013


CONTENT ................................................................................................................................................................... 1
1 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................................... 2
2 LTE BAND PLANS ............................................................................................................................................. 3
2.1 OVERVIEW OF 3GPP STANDARDISED BANDS FOR LTE ..................................................................................... 3
2.2 LTE BAND PLAN USAGE: GLOBAL OVERVIEW ...................................................................................................... 4
2.3 OVERVIEW MAIN DIGITAL DIVIDEND BAND PLANS ................................................................................................ 7
2.3.1 North America: FCC 700 MHz band plan .................................................................................................... 7
2.3.2 Europe: 800 MHz band plan ........................................................................................................................ 9
2.3.3 Asia: APT 700 MHz band plan ..................................................................................................................... 9
2.3.4 Overview main band plans: ECTEL variant of the 700 MHz band plan .................................................... 11
2.3.5 Overview main band plans: International/regional practice ..................................................................... 12
2.4 INITIAL USE OF SPECTRUM FOR LTE IN LATIN AMERICA .................................................................................. 16
3 ROAMING ASPECTS ...................................................................................................................................... 17
3.1 MOBILE DEVICE CAPABILITIES ..................................................................................................................... 17
3.2 ANALYSIS ..................................................................................................................................................... 23
4 COORDINATION WITH FRENCH SAINT MARTIN AND ANGUILLA ................................................ 24
5 OPTIONS FOR SINT MAARTEN .................................................................................................................. 27
5.1 BELOW 1 GHZ ................................................................................................................................................... 27
5.2 ABOVE 1 GHZ ................................................................................................................................................... 30
5.3 RECOMMENDED APPROACH .............................................................................................................................. 31
6 SUBMISSION .................................................................................................................................................... 35

1 Introduction
Sint Maarten Bureau Telecommunication and Post (BTPSXM) is preparing for the introduction of LTE
based mobile broadband services on the island of Sint Maarten. Given the topography of the island and
the close proximity to neighbouring French Saint Martin and Anguilla cooperation with the neighbouring
countries is a necessity to allow for efficient use of the spectrum while avoiding major interference

Global developments show a very strong growth of mobile broadband. Existing local mobile broadband
networks are based on current third generation mobile technologies, such as 3G/HSPA+ and CDMA
EV/DO but will require future evolution to LTE and fourth generation mobile technologies to provide
enough capacity at a lower price per unit to serve the citizens and business users of Sint Maarten.

From a spectrum policy perspective there are two options, typically used both:
In-band migration to newer versions of the 3GPP standards. This is for example applicable to the
850, 800, 1800, 2100, 2300 MHz bands. Vendors provide multi-technology radio basestations
making this a commercially highly feasible option.
New spectrum bands. Main options for Sint Maarten involve:
o 700 MHz Digital Dividend band. Internationally the Digital Dividend bands are 700 MHz in
the Americas, 800 MHz band in Europe and 700+800 MHz bands in Asia. Since the
WRC 2012 potentially also Africa, Middle-East and Europe will get access to the 700
MHz band. These digital dividend bands are very suitable to wide-area coverage
although the spectrum available to provide high capacity is limited. On Sint Maarten the
800 MHz band might not be near future option since this band mostly overlaps with the
850 MHz band as used on Sint Maarten. The 700 MHz band can be made available since
there is no analogue TV service in that part of the UHF TV band.
o 2.6 GHz band. This band offers a lot of spectrum and is very suitable to provide
additional capacity at high traffic locations. However this band is less suitable to provide
wide-area coverage due to the larger number of basestation locations required to cover
the same area. Reportedly MMDS use of the 2.6 GHz band on Sint Maarten has been
phased out after the introduction of DVB-T but WiMAX/Wireless Broadband might still be
operating in this band.

Therefore the main 700 MHz is the new band, which can be made available for mobile broadband,
besides the existing 850, 900, 1800, 2100 and 2300 MHz bands.

Unfortunately globally, and even within the US, there are different 700 MHz band plans. As a result of the
different &00 MHz band plans there are incompatibilities with currently available devices. Contrary to the
experience in other major mobile bands the current situation in the 700 MHz band is such that mobile
phones and tablets are very specific for a particular (sub) band plan.

Further roaming is a key consideration given the importance of the tourism business.

This document outlines the main spectrum policy issues, the challenges and the proposed approach to
provide spectrum for LTE and further 4G mobile technologies taking into account the very specific
conditions of Sint Maarten and its close neighbours as well as the specific business requirements for both
the local market as well as the visitors market.

2 LTE band plans
2.1 Overview of 3GPP standardised bands for LTE

The 3GPP standard facilitates LTE technology, both FDD and TDD, in many different bands:

Source: 3GPP 36.104 v12.0.0

Uplink (UL) operating band
BS receive
UE transmit
Downlink (DL) operating band
BS transmit
UE receive
FUL_low FUL_high FDL_low FDL_high
1 1920 MHz 1980 MHz 2110 MHz 2170 MHz FDD
2 1850 MHz 1910 MHz 1930 MHz 1990 MHz FDD
3 1710 MHz 1785 MHz 1805 MHz 1880 MHz FDD
4 1710 MHz 1755 MHz 2110 MHz 2155 MHz FDD
5 824 MHz 849 MHz 869 MHz 894MHz FDD
830 MHz 840 MHz 875 MHz 885 MHz FDD
7 2500 MHz 2570 MHz 2620 MHz 2690 MHz FDD
8 880 MHz 915 MHz 925 MHz 960 MHz FDD
9 1749.9 MHz 1784.9 MHz 1844.9 MHz 1879.9 MHz FDD
10 1710 MHz 1770 MHz 2110 MHz 2170 MHz FDD
11 1427.9 MHz 1447.9 MHz 1475.9 MHz 1495.9 MHz FDD
12 699 MHz 716 MHz 729 MHz 746 MHz FDD
13 777 MHz 787 MHz 746 MHz 756 MHz FDD
14 788 MHz 798 MHz 758 MHz 768 MHz FDD
15 Reserved Reserved FDD
16 Reserved Reserved FDD
17 704 MHz 716 MHz 734 MHz 746 MHz FDD
18 815 MHz 830 MHz 860 MHz 875 MHz FDD
19 830 MHz 845 MHz 875 MHz 890 MHz FDD
20 832 MHz 862 MHz 791 MHz 821 MHz
21 1447.9 MHz 1462.9 MHz 1495.9 MHz 1510.9 MHz FDD
22 3410 MHz 3490 MHz 3510 MHz 3590 MHz FDD
23 2000 MHz 2020 MHz 2180 MHz 2200 MHz FDD
24 1626.5 MHz 1660.5 MHz 1525 MHz 1559 MHz FDD
25 1850 MHz 1915 MHz 1930 MHz 1995 MHz FDD
26 814 MHz 849 MHz 859 MHz 894 MHz FDD
27 807 MHz 824 MHz 852 MHz 869 MHz FDD
28 703 MHz 748 MHz 758 MHz 803 MHz FDD
29 N/A 717 MHz 728 MHz FDD

30 2305 MHz 2315 MHz 2350 MHz 2360 MHz FDD
31 452.5 MHz 457.5 MHz 462.5 MHz 467.5 MHz FDD
33 1900 MHz 1920 MHz 1900 MHz 1920 MHz TDD
34 2010 MHz 2025 MHz 2010 MHz 2025 MHz TDD
35 1850 MHz 1910 MHz 1850 MHz 1910 MHz TDD
36 1930 MHz 1990 MHz 1930 MHz 1990 MHz TDD
37 1910 MHz 1930 MHz 1910 MHz 1930 MHz TDD
38 2570 MHz 2620 MHz 2570 MHz 2620 MHz TDD
39 1880 MHz 1920 MHz 1880 MHz 1920 MHz TDD
40 2300 MHz 2400 MHz 2300 MHz 2400 MHz TDD
41 2496 MHz 2690 MHz 2496 MHz 2690 MHz TDD
42 3400 MHz 3600 MHz 3400 MHz 3600 MHz TDD
43 3600 MHz 3800 MHz 3600 MHz 3800 MHz TDD
44 703 MHz 803 MHz 703 MHz 803 MHz TDD
Note 1: Band 6 is not applicable.
Note 2: Restricted to E-UTRA operation when carrier aggregation is configured. The downlink
operating band is paired with the uplink operating band (external) of the carrier
aggregation configuration that is supporting the configured Pcell.

LTE 1800
LTE 2600
LTE 900
FCC lower 700 A, B & C
FCC upper 700 C, Verizon
FCC upper 700 D, Band 14
FCC lower 700 B & C, AT&T
APT 700
LTE 2300 TDD
LTE 2600 TDD
LTE 800
LTE 2600 TDD, Sprint
LTE in PCS band
LTE in AWS band
ESMR-800, Sprint
LTE in extended PCS band


However at this point in time it is impossible for mobile device manufacturers to cost-effectively produce
devices capable to support all bands. It can be observed the 3GPP standard has 5 different FDD band
plans just in the 700 MHz band. The FCC alone is using 4 different FDD 700 MHz band plans in the US
while Asia Pacific has selected just one 700 MHz band plan.

2.2 LTE band plan usage: global overview

The 3GPP standards do allow for a lot of different bands to be used for LTE. Unfortunately the device
market, and in particular the smartphone market until now, focuses on supporting a handful of the most
popular LTE bands. As can be seen from the GSA data the number of networks supporting LTE 1800
MHz is the highest making this almost a de-facto roaming band. The number of networks operating in the
digital dividend bands such as 800 MHz in Europe (band 20) and the 4 different FCC 700 MHz bands (12,
13, 14 and 17) in North America is growing gradually. Typically operators already have existing 1800 MHz
spectrum holdings and use these to quickly launch LTE 1800 while analogue to digital TV migrations and
subsequent auctioning or other methods of spectrum allocation do take time.

Source: GSA Global LTE Market Update, 1 August 2013

Considering the actual subscriber base it can be observed that North America and some particular Asian
countries have been leading in terms of subscribers. This has mainly been driven by CDMA operators
lacking a competitive proposition to compete with 3G/HSPA+ operators. These operators, such as
Verizon in the US, had a very strong business motivation to migrate to LTE quickly. The 3G/HSPA+
operators had, and still have, ample room in the HSPA+ technology roadmap to increase the capacity of
their HSPA+ networks and tend to introduce LTE more gradually. Over time the distribution should be

expected to return to the more general distribution of the global mobile subscriber base with about 6% in
North America, 50% in Asia Pacific, 18% Europe and 11% in Latin America.

Source: GSA Global LTE Market Update, 1 August 2013 Source: 4G Americas

From a global perspective the LTE 1800 band is the most popular spectrum for LTE deployments

Source: GSA Status of the LTE ecosystem, 25 August 2013

In terms of the support for different LTE bands in devices similarly the prominence of LTE 1800 capable
terminals is evident but it should also be observed that 2600 MHz seems to be broadly supported in
devices even though network deployment in this very high band is far more limited:

Source: GSA Status of the LTE ecosystem, 25 August 2013

The number of LTE subscribers is increasing rapidly and by May 2013 the 100 million level has reportedly
been exceeded. Many projections, such as the Ericsson projection and the projection used by 4G
Americas below, show a gradual migration from GSM to 3G/HSPA to LTE. Even though LTE is of critical
importance and shows strong growth it should still be anticipated that the majority of the global mobile
subscribers is most likely still using 3G/HSPA by 2018. Like with previous mobile technologies it does
take time for ecosystems to develop, to mature and to reach the right price point for different market

Source: 4G Americas Source: Ericsson Mobility Report, June 2013

2.3 Overview main digital dividend band plans
2.3.1 North America: FCC 700 MHz band plan

In North America the LTE market has initially started in the 700 MHz band. Operators continued to use
the CDMA and the 3G/HSPA networks for fall back and to complete their coverage footprint. Recently
LTE deployments have started to utilise more inband migration options as well.

The FCC 700 MHz band plan is based on two main sub-bands with different duplex arrangements:
Lower 700 MHz band (BTS TX high, BTS RX Low)
Upper 700 MHz band (BTS TX low, BTS RX high)
Within each of those bands there are FDD allocations and unpaired/TDD allocations. In the upper 700
MHz there is also a special allocation just for public safety applications.


The main winners of the 700 MHz auction have been:
AT&T, Lower 700 MHz block B and C in the so-called band 17
Verizon, Upper 700 MHz block C in the so called band 13
Further there are the Lower 700 MHz A Band operators, mostly smaller regional operator using, or
planning to use, the Band 12 plan. Some blocks, such as the Upper 700 MHz D block associated with the
adjacent Public Safety block, were not sold in the auction due to lack of interest.


In the US there are specific reasons, due to some high power broadcasting immediately below the 700
MHz band, why mobile devices for Band 12 have to meet much stricter filtering requirements than Band
17 mobile devices.

Most of the current LTE 700 MHz users in the US use either Band 17 or Band 13 mobile devices but it
isnt common for mobile devices to be usable all over the 700 MHz band. For example Apple has
launched two different iPad and two different iPhone 5 models: one compatible with AT&T Band 17 and
another version compatible with Verizon Band 13.

Notes on subsequent developments on use/allocation of the FCC 700 MHz band plan blocks:
Early 2012 a bill has been approved allocating the Upper 700 MHz band D Block to Public Safety as
Qualcomms holding of unpaired Lower 700 MHz band blocks D and E has been sold to AT&T. This
seems to be linked to the 3GPP Release 11 functionality New Band LTE Downlink FDD 716-728
MHz UID_510028 supported, among others, by AT&T.
March 21, 2012, the FCC issued a Notice of proposed rulemaking on Interoperability in the 700 MHz
Commercial spectrum focussing on reducing the mobile device incompatibilities in particular in the
lower 700 MHz band. This was based upon a 2009 Petition for rulemaking regarding the need for
700 MHz mobile equipment to be capable of operating on all paired 700 MHz frequency blocks
submitted by the Counsel for700 MHz Block A Good Faith Purchasers Alliance.
This process is still on-going with many recent filings. For example a major operator such as AT&T in
their latest FCC filing at 26 June 2013 was clearly against any mandate to facilitate band 12 capability
for mobile devices as well in lower 700 MHz given cost and complexity.

As of August 2013 the FCC 700 MHz band plan is a fragmented band plan with 4 different FDD band
plans, some TDD/unpaired allocations and a Public Safety block. A device/smartphone which works on
one FCC 700 MHz network typically doesnt work at the 700 MHz network of another major mobile
operator. Device manufacturers have to provide different models for the North American market to cater
for the different LTE band plans used by each of the mobile operators such as AT&T (lower 700 MHz
band 17 completed with other in-band migrations, mostly AWS), Verizon (lower 700 band 13 completed
with other in-band migrations, mostly AWS), Sprint (via Clearwire 2600 MHz TDD, PCS 1900 and ex-
Nextel 800 MHz spectrum), T-Mobile (AWS) and the smaller regional operators (lower 700 MHz band 12
and other in-band migrations). Of course this has many other far reaching consequences for customers
as well since mobile devices are more or less operator specific.

Uplink Unpaired Downlink Downlink Uplink
Band 12 Band 12
Uplink Downlink Unpaired Downlink Uplink
775 776 787 788 793 805 734 740 746 757 758 763 698 704 710 716 722 728
D Public Safety
D Public Safety A B C D E A
788 793 805 806
Band 17
Band 17
Band 13
Band 13
Band 14 Band 14
757 758 763 775 776 787
698 704 710 716 722 728 734 740 746
Public Safety
D Public Safety A B C C

2.3.2 Europe: 800 MHz band plan

The European operators typically focus initially on 800 MHz (band 20) as Digital Dividend band for
coverage and 1800 MHz (band 3) and 2600 MHz (band 7) as capacity bands. The band plan provides 2 x
30 MHz with BTS TX low and BTS RX high (inverse duplex compared to typical mobile bands):

The 850 MHz band as used in the US and many Caribbean islands is typically not used in Europe and
therefore this spectrum could be allocated as Digital Dividend without any conflicts. For the same reason
the 900 MHz is 2 x 35 MHz while on Sint Maarten only the original 2 x 25 MHz is used.

The European plan is of additional importance since the France Oversees Territories, including Saint
Martin, typically use the same frequency plan.

In the WRC 2012 also Europe, Africa and the Middle East also decided to make the (part of) the 700 MHz
band available for mobile broadband. Although the full 700 MHz band overlaps with the 800 MHz band
one of the more likely band plans for ITU Region 1 could be to adopt the APT 700 MHz band plan and
only use the lower 2 x 30 MHz thereof. This is currently under study.

2.3.3 Asia: APT 700 MHz band plan

The Asia-Pacific Telecommunity has not embraced the FCC plan but agreed on a fundamentally different
band plan, without fragmentation and more in line with the band plans used in other mobile bands:

Source: APT/AWG/REP-24

This plan offers the full 2x45 MHz capacity of the band with just a 10 MHz duplex gap in the middle. To
avoid/reduce complications with users in adjacent bands a 5 MHz guard band on the lower end and a 3
MHz guard band on the higher-end have been included in the band plan.

The APT 700 MHz plan was agreed upon in September 2010. Report 24 outlining further guidance was
issued in September 2011 and the ITU incorporated the APT 700 MHz plan in the March 2012 M.1036-4.
3GPP incorporated the APT 700 MHz band plan in Release 11 (Band 28).

There is also a TDD arrangement of the APT plan (Band 44) but the main trend seems to focus on the
FDD version with the possible exception of China.

The status in Asia is as follows:
Korea allocated
Japan adopted the APT 700 MHz 2x45 MHz plan and auctioned 3 pairs of 2x10 MHz FDD in mid-
2012 even though actual availability is taking time due migration to Analogue Switch Off and
migration to Digital TV.
Australia adopted the APT 700 MHz 2x45 MHz plan and already auctioned the band in early 2013
even though actual full availability might take until 2015
Taiwan has adopted APT 700 MHz and announced the auction for late 2013.
New Zealand adopted the APT 700 MHz 2x45 MHz plan and has scheduled the auction for late 2013
India adopted the APT 700 MHz 2x45 MHz plan and plans auction only in 2014
China, reportedly the 700 MHz only becomes available in 2015
Papua New Guinea, adopted the APT 700 MHz 2x45 MHz plan and reportedly already allocated
spectrum (including 2 x 22.5 MHz to Digicel PNG).
Tonga adopted the APT 700 MHz 2x45 MHz plan
Many other countries committed to the APT 700 MHz 2 x 45 MHz plan but have to complete
Analogue Switch Off (ASO) before the spectrum is available for mobile broadband. For example
Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore confirmed their commitment in June 2013

Many Latin American countries are adopting the APT 700 MHz band plan instead of the FCC 700 MHz
ban plan. The status in Latin America is as follows:
Mexico committed to APT 700 MHz and intends to auction 3 blocks of 2 x15 MHz each. This is spite
of being a neighbour of the US with obvious issues in first about 60 km from the US border
Ecuador committed to APT 700 MHz
Colombia committed to APT 700 MHz
Panama committed to APT 700 MHz
Chile committed to APT 700 MHz
Argentina committed to APT 700 MHz
Brazil committed more or less to APT 700 MHz
Uruguay committed to APT 700 MHz
Bolivia committed to APT 700 MHz
Costa Rica, the regulator advised APT 700 MHz

At the latest WRC 2012 (part of) the 700 MHz has also been made available to Europe, Middle-East and
Africa. Although the 700 MHz band overlaps with the 800 MHz one of the more likely band plans for ITU
Region 1 could be to adopt the APT 700 MHz band plan and only use the lower 2 x 30 MHz thereof.
However mid-2013 there is no known firm commitments in Europe with respect to the future band plan to
be used in the 700 MHz band.

The United Arab Emirates are probably the first country announcing adoption of a combination of the full
800 MHz and 700 MHz (lower 2 x 30 MHz of the APT 700 MHz band plan) Digital Dividend bands. This
strategy is likely to gain traction in countries which adopted already the 800 MHz (band 20) for LTE.

Overall the prospect of very large economies of scale for the APT 700 MHz band plan are promising but
although there is great momentum, the actual development of the eco-system is still in its early years
since ASO is taking time in many countries.

2.3.4 Overview main band plans: ECTEL variant of the 700 MHz band plan

Besides the two main FCC and APT plans within the Caribbean region ECTEL had prepared a specific
variant of the FCC 700 MHz plan, published in 2009. This plan overlaps in some aspects with the FCC
plan (Lower 700 band and upper 700 MHz Band) but in the lower band the FCC C block is not by
definition offered as a FDD block. In the Upper 700 MHz the 1 MHz channels have been eliminated, all
blocks are 6 MHz and Public Safety has been reduced.

Source: ECTEL Policy on the allocation and assignment of frequencies in the 700 MHz band, Approved in April 2009

Operators (like Lime and Digicel) have demanded closer alignment with the FCC 700 MHz plan and the
final determination of ECTEL shows the following band plan:

MHZ BAND, March 2013

2.3.5 Overview main band plans: International/regional practice

GSM Association
The GSM Association provided a Draft Draft Position paper for Latin America on Digital Dividend/UHF
band plans May 2011:

Globally, the GSMA favours the harmonisation of frequency bands used for mobile broadband services.
With particular reference to the 698-806 MHz band, the GSMA supports two band plan options, namely:

Option 1. The Optimised 2 x 45 MHz conventional FDD band plan in 698-806 MHz, agreed within the
Asia-Pacific Telecommunitys Wireless Forum (AWF) for Region 3 (Asia Pacific)1; and

Option 2. The US band plan in 698-806 MHz as specified by 3GPP for the USA2.

Option 1 (the Asian band plan) may be an option that some countries wish to consider. It has the
advantage that it has been designed assuming the spectrum is clear of other users, and therefore does
not need to support US specific legacy issues. The Asian band plan could also offer significant benefits
from economies of scale (with over 50% of the worlds population in Asia Pacific). However the adoption
of the band plan by Asian countries is still work in progress although a large market like India and mature
markets and early movers like Australia and New Zealand have indicated they will implement the Asia
band plan. The on-going process of countries considering to adopt the Asia band plan mean that the
availability of devices for this band will likely lag behind that of option 2 (US band plan).

Option2, the US band plan has the obvious attraction in terms of equipment and device availability that it
has been deployed in the USA.

Since use of the 698-806 MHz band is the alternative for Latin America band plan options 1 and 2 are the
candidates to be considered in Latin America.

Option 1 is likely to be better for those administrations that prioritize making maximum bandwidth
available and that can align with the Asian Pacific countries on timing regarding release of the band and
deployment of mobile broadband technology.

Option 2 (US band plan) is likely to be better for those Administrations that prioritize releasing the band
for mobile broadband deployments within a short timeline.

Source: Draft Draft Position paper for Latin America on Digital Dividend/UHFband plans, May 2011


CITELs recommendation (November 2011) for the 700 MHz band plan allows for two main options, FCC
700 MHz plan or APT 700 MHz plan:

BROADCASTING, November 28 to December 2, 2011, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Final report

The Canadian Regulator has proposed 3 different potential band plans for the 700 MHz band including
the FCC plan and the APT plan:

Source: Consultation on a Policy and Technical Framework for the 700 MHz Band and Aspects Related to Commercial Mobile
Spectrum, November 2010

The conclusion of the Canadian consultation has resulted in option 1; harmonize with the US band plan:

Source:, March 2012


Even though Mexico has a long border with the US it seems Mexico has selected the APT 700 MHz plan.
In a press message (
band-confirms-will-opt-for-asia-pacific-standard) on June 13, 2012, is stated Cofetel plans tender for 700
MHz band, confirms will opt for Asia-Pacific standard and Mexican telecoms regulator Cofetel is
considering tendering blocks of 15 MHz for three operators, Cofetels General Director..


Similarly a press message (
standard-for-700-mhz-band1) of April 24, 2012, states Government adopts Asia-Pacific standard for 700
MHz band Chile. The justification offered is clearly related to the better economies of scale anticipated
for the APT 700 MHz band plan.


On January 16, 2012, URCA, the Telecom Regulator for the Bahamas issued a consultation on the Draft
Policy for New Spectrum Bands 700 MHz, 11 GHz, 12 GHz and 42 GHz, ECS 1/2012 and on March
23, 2012 the Policy for New Spectrum Bands 700 MHz, 11 GHz, 12 GHz and 42 GHz was issued.

The 700 MHz band plan adopted is as follows:

Source: URCA Policy for New Spectrum Bands 700 MHz, 11 GHz, 12 GHz and 42 GHz, March 2012

This plan could be characterized as a modified FCC 700 MHz band plan, eliminating the 1 MHz bands,
reducing the Public Safety allocation and harmonizing all blocks with the existing 6 MHz TV channels.
Some of the aspects, like the elimination of the 1 MHz channels and all 6 MHz blocks are similar to the
ECTEL 700 MHz plan.

Virgin Islands

The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Virgin Islands has issued Spectrum Management
Framework Final Statement including report on Public Consultation, November 2011. In this report the
options for the 700 MHz band plan are discussed and the usual arguments in the FCC APT band plan
are reviewed:
Operators who wish to launch in the short-term might prefer the FCC 700 MHz band plan and
specifically Band 13 (Verizon) and band 17 (AT&T) given the mobile device availability and
roaming with the US
The FCC 700 MHz plan is not ideal
The APT 700 MHz plan is more spectrum efficient, not only thanks to its 5 MHz channels but
also because it may permit more efficient LTE deployments in wide channel widths
In the long-term the APT plan may prove to be more economical.

The overall conclusion for the Virgin Islands was in favour of the FCC 700 MHz band plan:

Source: Spectrum Management Framework Final Statement including report on Public Consultation, November 2011

Turks & Caicos Islands
The regulator has adopted and through a kind of beauty contest process awarded 700 MHz spectrum
based on the FCC 700 MHz band plan early 2013. The spectrum was clearly divided in Prime spectrum
and Non-Prime spectrum. Prime spectrum was basically the AT&T band 17 and the Verizon band 13
blocks while the rest was considered Non-Prime.

2.4 Initial use of spectrum for LTE in Latin America

The initial deployments of LTE in Latin America are distributed over many different bands including the
700 MHz Digital Dividend but also in-band 850 MHz, 1800 MHz, PCS 1900 MHz, AWS and 2600 MHz.

Source: 4G Americas


3 Roaming aspects
Roaming is of critical importance for the mobile operators on Sint Maarten given the large numbers of
tourists. The majority of the tourists are coming from North America although there is also a significant
percentage of European roaming.

First of all it is important that roaming does not necessarily require the visited network to use the
same band as in the home country. This is a common misunderstanding. What is essential is that the
mobile device brought along by the visitor supports the frequency band used on Sint Maarten.

3.1 Mobile Device capabilities

This can be illustrated based on the capabilities of one of the popular phone models used in the US, the


IPhone models:
The first model, the AT&T version supports LTE bands 2 (PCS 1900), 4 (AWS), 5 (850 MHz)
and 17 (lower 700 MHz B & C as used by AT&T) and 5 bands 3G/HSPA+ and quad-band GSM.
The second model, the Verizon version supports LTE bands 1 (2100 MHz), 3 (1800 MHz), 5
(850 MHz), 13 (upper 700 MHz band C as used by Verizon) and band 25 (extended PCS 1900)
and quad band 3G/HSPA+ and quad-band GSM and tri-band CDMA.
The third model used internationally supports LTE bands LTE bands 1 (2100 MHz), 3 (1800
MHz), 5 (850 MHz) and quad band 3G/HSPA+ and quad band GSM.

Other popular devices, like Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTCOne support again a different mix of LTE band
combinations depending on the country and the operator:
Samsung S4 for AT&T: LTE: Bands 1/4/7/17; HSPA+/UMTS: 850/1900/2100MHz; GSM:
850/900/1800/1900MHz. So this version also has band 7 (LTE 2600)
Samsung S4 for Verizon: LTE: Bands 4/13; CDMA 1x/EVDO Rev.A: 800/1900MHz;
HSPA+/UMTS: 850/900/1900/2100MHz; GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz.
Samsung S4 for Sprint: LTE: Band 25; CDMA 1x/EVDO Rev.A: 800/850/1900MHz;
HSPA+/UMTS: 850/900/1900/2100MHz; GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz. So this version seems
to have activated only the LTE capability in the extended PCS 1900 band even though Sprints
network has become tri-band LTE (EMSR-800 band 26, extended PCS 1900 band 25 and LTE
TDD 2600, band 41) in 2013.

Samsung S4 for T-Mobile: LTE: Bands 1/2/4/5/7/17; HSPA+/UMTS: 850/AWS/1900/2100MHz;
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz. So this particular version supports 6 different LTE bands
including the AT&T 700 MHz version
Samsung S4 for US Cellular: LTE: Bands 2/4/5/12; CDMA 1x/EVDO Rev.A: 800/AWS/1900MHz
Samsung S4 for other US carriers: LTE: Bands 2/25; CDMA 1x/EVDO Rev.A: 800/1900MHz
Samsung S4 for the Netherlands (typical European): LTE B1(2100), B3(1800), B5(850),
B7(2600), B8(900), B20(800) and quad band 3G/HSPA and GSM
HTC One AT&T: LTE 700/850/AWS/1900 MHz
HTC One T-Mobile: LTE 700/AWS MHz
HTC One European: LTE 800/1800/2600 MHz
Sources: Samsung website for US and the Netherlands, HTC website

How would this apply to a Sint Maarten based operator using LTE in particular band?
Band 17
700 MHz)
Band 13
700 MHz)
Band 3
(1800 MHz)
Band 7
(2600 MHz)
Band 5
(850 MHz)
Verizon iPhone 5
No (3G fall-back) Yes Yes No (3G fall-back) Yes
AT&T iPhone 5
Yes No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) Yes
Europe iPhone 5
No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) Yes No (3G fall-back) Yes
AT&T Sams. S4
Yes No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) Yes No (3G fall-
Verizon Sams. S4
No (3G fall-back) Yes No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-
Sprint Sams. S4
No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-
T-Mobile Sams. S4
Yes No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) Yes Yes
US Cellular S4
? (supports band
No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) Yes
Other US carrier
No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-
Samsung S4
No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) Yes Yes Yes
Yes No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-
T-Mobile HTC One
Yes No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-
European HTC
No (3G fall-back) No (3G fall-back) Yes Yes No (3G fall-
As can be observed from the table above any choice of FCC 700 MHz frequency band for LTE will
exclude a lot of roamers:
Selection of the AT&T band 17 results in AT&T and some T-Mobile roamers but excludes
Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular and European roamers.
Similarly the choice for Verizon band 13 results in Verizon roamers but no one else
Selecting one of the popular in-band migration options results in a mixture of roamers:
The increasingly popular 1800 MHz band does result in most European roamers but also the
Verizon iPhone 5s.
The 2600 MHz band results in some devices from AT&T, T-Mobile and many European roamers.
The 850 MHz band results in all iPhones from Verizon, AT&T and Europe as well US Cellular, T-
Mobile Samsung and European Samsung S4s.
With the current ecosystem of mobile devices/smartphones there is no optimum band to get all roamers.
Since the US market is fragmented the result of US roaming will be fragmented as well. The
European/Asian/Rest of the World roamers can be captured using one of the internationally most popular
bands such as LTE 1800 but other bands but also 850 and 2600 MHz bands do offer increasing roaming

This fragmented LTE spectrum in the US is a major barrier for development of the LTE roaming market.
However it should be observed that all those terminals come with extensive 3G/HSPA capability as well

so visitors to Sint Maarten can always fall-back to 3G/HSPA+ for voice and data services in case their
device does not support the local LTE band.

Looking forward there are strong reasons to expect the situation to improve. An important reason is the
fact that smartphone vendors do not like to make so many different models. In most of the word they can
provide just one and the same model but for the US they need several different versions. Chipset
developers are addressing the issue to support more LTE bands in one smartphone:
Intel plans to provide a chip supporting up to 15 LTE bands:

Source: August 2013 filing at FCC in response to Notice of Ex Parte Presentation, Promoting Interoperability in the 700
MHz Commercial Spectrum
Even more ambitious is the RF360 chipset of Qualcomm offering support for up to 40 LTE bands
between 700 MHz and 2600 MHz. This chipset is due for late 2013 and is anticipated to enable a
single mobile phone for the global market.
Qualcomm RF360 Front End Solution Enables Single, Global LTE Design for Next-
Generation Mobile Devices
New WTR1625L and RF Front End Chips Harness Radio Frequency Band Proliferation, Enable OEMs to Develop
Thinner, More Power-Efficient Devices with Worldwide 4G LTE Mobility
SAN DIEGO February 21, 2013 Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its wholly-owned
subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., introduced the Qualcomm RF360 Front End Solution, a comprehensive,
system-level solution that addresses cellular radio frequency band fragmentation and enables for the first time a single,
global 4G LTE design for mobile devices. Band fragmentation is the biggest obstacle to designing todays global LTE
devices, with 40 cellular radio bands worldwide. The Qualcomm RF front end solution comprises a family of chips
designed to mitigate this problem while improving RF performance and helping OEMs more easily develop multiband,
multimode mobile devices supporting all seven cellular modes, including LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD, WCDMA, EV-DO, CDMA
1x, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE. The RF front end solution includes the industrys first envelope power tracker for 3G/4G
LTE mobile devices, a dynamic antenna matching tuner, an integrated power amplifier-antenna switch, and an innovative
3D-RF packaging solution incorporating key front end components. The Qualcomm RF360 solution is designed to work
seamlessly, reduce power consumption and improve radio performance while reducing the RF front end footprint inside of
a smartphone by up to 50 percent compared to the current generation of devices. Additionally, the solution reduces
design complexity and development costs, allowing OEM customers to develop new multiband, multimode LTE products
faster and more efficiently. By combining the new RF front end chipsets with Qualcomm Snapdragon all-in-one mobile
processors and Gobi LTE modems, Qualcomm Technologies can supply OEMs with a comprehensive, optimized,
system-level LTE solution that is truly global.

As mobile broadband technologies evolve, OEMs need to support 2G, 3G, 4G LTE and LTE Advanced technologies in the
same device in order to provide the best possible data and voice experience to consumers no matter where they are.

The wide range of radio frequencies used to implement 2G, 3G and 4G LTE networks globally presents an ongoing
challenge for mobile device designers. Where 2G and 3G technologies each have been implemented on four to five
different RF bands globally, the inclusion of LTE brings the total number of cellular bands to approximately 40, said Alex
Katouzian, senior vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Our new RF devices are tightly
integrated and will allow us the flexibility and scalability to supply OEMs of all types, from those requiring only a region-
specific LTE solution, to those needing LTE global roaming support.

GSMA is also assessing the issue of many LTE spectrum bands.

Is a world LTE smartphone on the horizon?
Achieving global economies of scale for LTE remains a challenge

The mobile industry has made good progress in ensuring LTE spectrum harmonisation on a regional basis. However, it
has only recently started tackling the challenge of developing an LTE smartphone that works worldwide. Such a device
would improve economies of scale for both device manufacturers and operators, while nurturing global LTE roaming and
triggering the faster adoption of LTE services. There are currently close to 200 commercial LTE networks operating
worldwide, running on 12 different FDD/TDD frequency bands. About 30% of global LTE deployments are supported by
the 1800 MHz band, while the 2600 MHz band makes up a quarter of deployments and the digital dividend bands a
further 21%. But the dominance of these existing LTE bands is likely to lessen in the medium to long term as more
countries allocate LTE spectrum and additional bands are introduced.

In Europe, LTE spectrum has been harmonised around the 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands. Meanwhile, many
markets in Asia and Latin America are adopting the APT700 band plan, and other operators notably across the
Americas are considering the use of AWS 1700 MHz/2100 MHz band for roaming purposes. These are the key bands
that are core to a world LTE smartphone today, along with 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz/2500 MHz for TDD.
Nevertheless, handset manufacturers choices as to which LTE bands they support have typically been driven by market
demand at the domestic or regional level, with LTE smartphones designed to support operators immediate spectrum
requirements. Samsung chose to support six LTE frequency bands on the Galaxy S4, compared to five for recent devices
produced by Apple, Nokia and Huawei.

One large Asian handset manufacturer recently told us that supporting multiple LTE bands is likely to remain a
compromise between cost and demand, as defined by the operators' requirements. The manufacturer went on to say that
at present, China Mobile is the operator that requires its OEM partners to support the most complex LTE band portfolio in
a single device, with up to 13 bands.

The LTE specifications set by 3GPP, the telecoms standardisation body, reflect the fact that the technology can be
deployed in any of the 44 licensed bands worldwide, a consequence of a general trend towards technology-neutral
licensing. It is unlikely that an operator would require a handset vendor to support all 44 bands in a single device, but
developing a smartphone capable of supporting the core LTE bands would effectively create a world LTE smartphone.

With the recent introduction of its RF360 front-end solution, Qualcomm has potentially opened the door for a world LTE
smartphone that fully enables global LTE roaming. The chipset vendor explained recently that the new technology is
capable of supporting 700 MHz to 2700 MHz LTE bands worldwide in a single device, and could generate economies of
scale in the same way that quad-band did for GSM and penta-band did for 3G.

Qualcomm expects RF360 to be commercially available in the second half of 2013, initially targeting high-end devices.
However, the large Asian handset manufacturer we talked to explained that it will take time for such technical
improvements to reach the mass market, and smartphone vendors are therefore likely to continue selecting LTE bands
according to immediate domestic and regional market demand and, of course, cost of production - for some time to

Interestingly, Qualcomm has been addressing the real estate challenge within smartphones printed circuit boards (PCB)
whereby supporting more LTE bands demands more discrete radio frequency (RF) front-end components, which are
placed between the antenna and the digital modem. The chipset vendor explained that with its RF360 solution, instead of
needing up to ten different designs to competitively support the required LTE band combinations around the world, an
OEM may only need three, or even fewer, and the differences across those can be addressed without a change in board
layout, or an increase in board space.

This is a particularly relevant challenge considering the increasing demand for bigger screens, faster processors and
connectivity, and better battery life, which means that todays
sleek smartphone designs leave little room to expand the
PCB space required for further front-end components should
manufacturers want their devices to support more LTE

Thus we would expect Qualcomms RF360 solution to have a
similar impact to its Snapdragon chipsets in the medium to
long term. In October last year, US operator MetroPCS
explained that the availability of lower-cost 4G LTE
smartphones is in part due to an increasing number of
handsets utilising the Qualcomm 8960 (Snapdragon) chipset
family. This standardisation is a major positive as it will
enable decreasing unit costs over time and we believe lower
subsidisation levels in the future.
% frequency bands (MHz) used in global LTE
deployments, as of July 2013
Source: GSMA Intelligence, August 2013

The recent launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c has shown already that all new iPhones support many more
LTE bands, besides quad band GSM and quad/penta-band 3G. Also all models are supporting LTE 1800
which strengthens the use of LTE 1800 as key band for LTE roaming since subscribers using the latest
Iphones from all networks around the world would be able to roam on a LTE 1800 network in Sint
Maarten. Also band 20 (LTE 800) is supported on all models which looks promising towards the future
use of that band as well.

The US specific bands 13 and 17 (part of FCC 700) would only be supported by 2 out of the 4 models
and contrary to general expectation offers therefore less potential for roaming by recent high-end devices.

Ultrafast LTE. Available here.
With LTE on iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5, you can browse the
web, stream content, or download a movie at blazing-fast speeds. To see
if your iPhone works with LTE networks in your country, refer to the
chart below.
For more details, contact your carrier.
iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s
Model Number
LTE Band Support
Country Supported LTE Networks
iPhone 5c
Model A1532
iPhone 5s
Model A1533
1 (2100 MHz)
2 (1900 MHz)
3 (1800 MHz)
4 (AWS)
5 (850 MHz)
8 (900 MHz)
13 (700c MHz)
17 (700b MHz)
19 (800 MHz)
20 (800 DD)
25 (1900 MHz)
United States
Bell (including Virgin)
Rogers (including Fido)
Telus (including Koodo)
Puerto Rico
iPhone 5c
Model A1456
iPhone 5s
Model A1453
1 (2100 MHz)
2 (1900 MHz)
3 (1800 MHz)
4 (AWS)
5 (850 MHz)
8 (900 MHz)
13 (700c MHz)
17 (700b MHz)
18 (800 MHz)
19 (800 MHz)
20 (800 DD)
25 (1900 MHz)
26 (800 MHz)
United States
Puerto Rico


iPhone 5c
Model A1507
iPhone 5s
Model A1457
1 (2100 MHz)
2 (1900 MHz)
3 (1800 MHz)
5 (850 MHz)
7 (2600 MHz)
8 (900 MHz)
20 (800 DD)
Deutsche Telekom
United Kingdom
iPhone 5c
Model A1529
iPhone 5s
Model A1530
1 (2100 MHz)
2 (1900 MHz)
3 (1800 MHz)
5 (850 MHz)
7 (2600 MHz)
8 (900 MHz)
20 (800 DD)
38 (TD 2600)
39 (TD 1900)
40 (TD 2300)
Optus (including Virgin)
Hong Kong
SK Telecom
New Zealand


3.2 Analysis

As described in the introduction of the Roaming chapter the capability to roam does not require the use of
the same frequency band as in the home country but it requires the use of frequency band supported by
the device/smartphone. Most modern high-end device support at least quad-band GSM and quad/penta
band 3G/HSPA+ and up to 5-6 different LTE bands. While the quad band/penta band capability is
sufficient for GSM and 3G/HSPA it isnt for LTE given the proliferation of more bands.

At this point in time the 1800 MHz band seems to have the broadest acceptance globally and therefore
rapidly increasing support for LTE 1800 in devices/smartphones can be anticipated. A LTE 1800 network
layer would be beneficial to support a wide range of roamers from most of the Europe, Asia, Africa,
Middle East, and to some extent from the US and Latin America.

Selection of a particular FCC 700 MHz band offers a roaming opportunity but also carries a major risk of
dependency on one single major roaming partner while that partner might be able to use another operator
on Sint Maarten as well. This negotiation position can be difficult for a local Sint Maarten based operator:
Band 17 in lower 700 MHz: dependent upon AT&T for most of the inbound roaming revenues.
Most devices, except some T-Mobile devices, of other US operators do not support band 17 and
cannot be offered LTE roaming.
Band 13 in upper 700 MHz: dependent upon Verizon for most of the inbound roaming revenues.
Most devices of other US operators do not support band 17 and cannot be offered LTE roaming.
The local operator might be the preferred partner for AT&T or Verizon but the dependency also carries a
major risk of marginalisation. If the local Sint Maarten operator does not agree with their terms and
conditions they might get almost no LTE roamers while the US operator could enable roaming in another
band to another Sint Maarten operator and for those users without the right LTE band support just fall-
back to 3G/HSPA+.

A Sint Maarten operator offering LTE 1800, LTE 850 or LTE 2600 would be able to offer roaming to most
US based operators but not all devices/smartphones used in the US do offer support for these bands.

Looking forward towards the future the chipset industry, such as Intel and Qualcomm, are in the process
of solving this issue and making the local spectrum choice more a decision focused on the optimum local
spectrum allocation instead of on roaming. Launch of the first generation of chipset capable to support a
much wider range of LTE bands is due in 2013 and smartphones with those chipsets are likely to follow
shortly afterwards.

It might be more important to focus initially on an internationally popular band in which a Sint Maarten
operator can make a lot capacity cost efficiently. Providing capacity with 2 x 20 MHz of spectrum in the
1800 MHz band might be more attractive and the better coverage but much lower capacity of 2 x 10 MHz
in one of the FCC 700 MHz bands. Once the anticipated growth of the APT 700 MHz band plan
ecosystem takes of it might be attractive to add 2 x 20 MHz in the APT 700 MHz band.


4 Coordination with French Saint Martin and Anguilla
Given the close proximity of French Saint Martin/Saint Barthlemy (France) and Anguilla coordination is
essential. Coordination is already crucial if the same band plans are being used but if incompatible band
plans will be used it becomes even more critical.

Historically the spectrum policy of French Saint Martin has been more closely aligned with the spectrum
policy and band plans used in France. On the other side Anguilla has followed more closely the North
American spectrum plans. Sint Maarten has always opted for a mixture of both taking the best from each
side and cater for multiple markets. In the past, in the period before formal coordination between the 3
countries, this has already resulted in incompatible use of spectrum bands such as basestation transmit
in the upper part of the 850 MHz band being at the same frequency as basestation receive in the 900
MHz band in a neighbouring country. Thanks to coordination most of these issues have been resolved
over time.

Since 2006 a frequency coordination agreement between Anguilla, French and the Netherlands Antilles
(now Sint Maarten and BES) has been in place to resolve such issues. In 2010 also broadcasting in the
FM band and DVB-T in the UHF band (including the 700 MHz band) has been coordinated.

The deployment of LTE is raising new issues and potentially incompatible band plans. At 17 July 2013
ARCEP launched a public consultation on mobile spectrum allocation in overseas territories. In this
consultation the complexity of the international coordination around Saint Martin and Saint Barthlemy is
mentioned. The existing allocation of mobile spectrum is as follows:

Source: ARCEP Public consultation on mobile spectrum in overseas territories, July 2013

The overall France approach is centered around the following bands:
800 MHz (European Digital Dividend): band 20 (incompatibilities with the 850 MHz band and 700
MHz band)
(Extended) 900 MHz band: band 8 (incompatibilities with the 850 MHz band)
1800 MHz band, band 3 (incompatibilities with PCS 1900 band)
2100 MHz band, band 1 (incompatibilities with the PCS 1900 band)
2600 MHz band, band 7 (2x70 MHz) and band 38 (up to 50 MHz TDD)
Future plans for the 700 MHz band are not formal yet but a band plan comparable to the lower 2 x 30
MHz of the APT 700 MHz band plan would be a likely scenario.

Anguilla on the other hand is fully focussed on:
700 MHz band according to FCC 700 MHz band plan (incompatibilities with APT 700 MHz and
800 MHz band)
850 MHz band (incompatibilities with the 800 MHz band and the extended 900 MHz band)
1900 MHz band (incompatibilities with the 1800 and 2100 bands)

The figure below highlights the main incompatibilities:

Source: List of incompatibilities as presented between the Administrations

Incompatibilities between BTS TX and BTS RX at the same frequency are very hard to resolve at the
small distances between the three countries. These incompatibilities should be avoided. Similar use, both
uplink or both downlink also requires coordination but is more manageable through signal levels, antenna
patterns, use of different codes, etc.

Specifically for the 700 MHz band the incompatibilities between FCC 700 and APT 700 would result in
achieving only 2x20 MHz of spectrum instead of 2x30 MHz or up to 2x45 MHz depending on the use of
the 800 MHz band. A realistic scenario for a division of the 700 MHz band would focus on band 12/17 for
the FCC 700 country. To achieve an equitable division band 13 would only have 2x5/6 MHz.

Band 13 DL Band 13 UL
APT 700 UL APT 700 DL
698 788
Band 17 UL Band 17 DL
Band 12 UL Band 12 DL
703 733 758

Coordination for 3G/HSPA+ and LTE can no longer rely on the approach of preferential non-
preferential frequencies as used for GSM given the large channel bandwidth required. Already 3G/HSPA+
introduced a possibility to have two networks at similar signal level at the border using different
preferential and non-preferential codes. These codes are divided over 4 country numbers and this has
been implemented previously for 3G/HSPA+ in the 2100 MHz band frequency coordination between
Anguilla, France and Sint Maarten. For LTE a similar approach is possible based on preferential and non-
preferential PCIs (Physical layer Cell Identity).

On top of the preferential non-preferential PCIs more options to improve LTE coordination are
described in ECC Recommendation 08(02), April 2012:
Demodulation Reference Signal (DM RS) coordination
Physical Random Access Channel (PRACH) coordination

These aspects could potentially be coordinated between the operators to improve the performance.


5 Options for Sint Maarten
Taking into considerations the specific local conditions on Sint Maarten, the coordination with the
neighbouring countries, the roaming requirements and international trends then a number of main options

5.1 Below 1 GHz

In the bands below 1 GHz the main issues are:
1 900 MHz band, include the extended 900 MHz band (880-890 MHz, 925-935 MHz)
2 Use of either the 850 MHz band and its future extensions (like band 26 used in the US by Sprint) or
the 800 MHz band (band 20, European Digital Dividend)
3 Band plan for the 700 MHz band: FCC 700 MHz APT 700 MHz

France would typically be following option 3 while Anguilla would most likely opt for something closer to
Option 1 with the FCC 700 MHz band plan in the 700 MHz band.

Extended 900 MHz band (880-890 MHz, 925-935 MHz)?
Sint Maarten might consider sacrificing some spectrum in the 850 MHz band to gain 2x10 MHz in the 900
MHz band. This offers a number of important benefits.
Allows Sint Maarten operators to benefit from more bandwidth in the 900 MHz. This would allow
them to use multi-technology/Single RAN equipment to provide GSM/3G/HSPA/LTE in the 900
MHz band with one and the same radio basestation. Cost-effective approach.
Synchronises the extended 900 MHz band between French Saint Martin and Sint Maarten
If Anguilla continues with large scale use of the 850 MHz band plan at the same frequencies
French Saint Martin will face major uplink interference problems. Also basestation on Sint
Maarten with line of Sight to Anguilla might suffer from high interference levels requiring proper
antenna radiation patterns to bring the interference levels down to acceptable levels.
Reduces the 850 MHz band which might be required for US roaming purposes. Basically only
spectrum for one 2x5 MHz 3G/HSPA+ 850 MHz network would be available when taking a guard
band into consideration.
Overall the benefits seem to outweigh the disadvantages for Sint Maarten but this solution might fail
without real support from Anguilla.
Option 1: "North-American plan + 2x25 MHz of 900 MHz"
Option 2 "Maximum900 MHz band, APT 700 and 850 MHz for US compatibility"
Option 3, "Both Digital Dividend options full European 800 MHz and 2x30 MHz of APT 700; maximum900 MHz"
Option 4, "Full APT 700 band, 2x15 MHz European 800 MHz; maximum900 MHz"
Option 5A, "Both Digital Dividend options, full European 800 MHz and 2x30 MHz of APT 700; maximum900 MHz; small roaming slot in 850 MHz"
Option 5B, "Both Digital Dividend options, full European 800 MHz and FCC 700 MHz Band 12, 17 and 13; maximum900 MHz; small roaming slot in 850 MHz"
698 788
Band 12 UL Band 12 DL
Band 17 UL Band 17 DL
Band 13 DL Band 13 UL 862 869 877 880 915 925
900 MHz 900 MHz
791 821 824 832
800 MHz 850 MHz 800 MHz 850 MHz
832 862 880 915 925 960 869 877 703 733 758 788 791 821 824
APT 700 APT 700 800 MHz 800 MHz 900 MHz 900 MHz 850 MHz 850 MHz
Band 13 UL
Band 14 DL Band 14 UL
Public Safety Public Safety
800 MHz
Band 12 UL Band 12 DL
Band 17 UL Band 17 DL
Band 13 DL
862 880 915 925 960 847 703 748 758 821 803 806
APT 700 APT 700 900 MHz 900 MHz 800 MHz
832 862 880 915 925 960 703 733 758 788 791 821
APT 700 APT 700 800 MHz 800 MHz 900 MHz 900 MHz
869 877 880 915 925 960 814 824 832 852 859
850-Ext 850 MHz 900 MHz 900 MHz
703 748 758 803 807
887 890 915 935 960
APT 700 APT 700 850-Ext 850 MHz
824 842 852 859 869
850-Ext 850 MHz 900 MHz 900 MHz
703 748 758 806 807 814
FCC 700 or APT 700 FCC 700 or APT 700 850-Ext 850 MHz
Band 26 UL Band 26 DL
Band 5 UL Band 5 DL
Band 27 UL Band 27 DL
Band 8 UL Band 8 DL
Band 20 DL Band 20 UL

850 MHz band and its potential future extensions (band 26) 800 MHz band?
Sint Maarten could consider the adoption of the European 800 MHz band (band 20) to align spectrum
usage with French Saint Martin.
Allows Sint Maarten operators to benefit from the 800 MHz band and aligns spectrum usage with
French Saint Martin.
The remainder of the 850 MHz downlink band will be difficult to use. A small part of the band
might still be possible to deploy if used with appropriate filtering (824-832 MHz, 869-877 MHz
duplex). It would be possible to trade-off some 800 MHz band spectrum against 850 MHz band
spectrum if needed.
The use of the 800 MHz band does impact the 700 MHz band. In case the FCC 700 MHz plan is
used this would affect the band 14 and public safety bands. There would still be 4 MHz guard
band left between the 800 MHz band and band 13 (Verizon) so with good filtering this could be
realised. In case of the APT 700 MHz band plan it would reduce the band from 2x45 MHz to
Results in a significant reduction of 850 MHz spectrum and also blocks the use of the 850 MHz
extension through band 26 (and/or band 27). Since the 850 MHz is likely to continue to be
important for US roaming this will be reducing compatible bands with the US.
Anguilla is likely to follow the US 850 MHz band plans.
The preferred solution would be coordinated use of the (extended) 850 MHz (including band 26) in all
three countries. However preliminary discussions with France have revealed that the likelihood of
allowing 850 MHz (band 5 and 26, 27) on Saint Martin is very small. Alignment with the French side is
very important to avoid incompatibilities in the 800/850 MHz band so the overall advantages of aligning
with French Saint Martin seems to outweigh the disadvantages for Sint Maarten. At this moment the 800
MHz band (band 20) spectrum is not used by any of the mobile networks. Continued use of the band 5
(existing 850 MHz band) by Anguilla should be anticipated. As long as the lower 2x10 MHz is being used
on Anguilla there would be neither incompatibility with the 800 MHz (band 20) nor the extended 900 MHz
band. This would still require cooperation of Anguilla.

It is still anticipated that with a bit of filtering/antenna coordination effort and a 3 MHz guard band it would
also still be possible to use lowest part of the existing 850 MHz band (band 5) on Sint Maarten (869-877
MHz). This could be used for a small roaming network. Anguilla might be able to extend use of the 850
MHz band with a part of band 26 (866-880 MHz) since a guard band would not be required given that
there will always be at least 7 km physical separation.

FCC 700 MHz APT 700 MHz?

Given the global and regional developments in the 700 MHz band Sint Maarten has two main options:
Option 1: Adopt the FCC 700 MHz plan
Option 2: Adopt the APT 700 MHz plan

The Pros and Cons can best be summarised by the following table:
FCC Plan APT Plan
Pros Short-term mobile device
Aligned for inbound roaming with
AT&T and Verizon
Allows for a quick launch and an
existing ecosystem
Aligned with Anguilla
Single band plan
More spectrum efficient
Allows for wider LTE channels (such as 2 x 20
MHz), better throughput and more cost-efficient
In the longterm likely to achieve the better
economies of scale (Asia is 50% of global
terminal market, North America about 6%)
In the long-term more likely to have a broader
range of low-cost mobile device given the
market requirements and volumes in Asia
Likely to be aligned with French Saint Martin for
the lower 2x30 MHz
Use of FCC 700 band 17 on Anguilla would still
be possible but limits APT 700 to 2x30 MHz for
French Saint Martin and basestations on Sint
Maarten with Line of Sight to Anguilla
Cons The FCC plan is unique for the US
situation, not really applicable or
necessary for the Sint Maarten
Less spectrum efficient
Does not allow for wide channels
(in practice up to 2 x 10 MHz, in
theory up to one channel of 2 x 15
Fragmented spectrum resulting in
several sub-bands with limited
Due to several sub-bands the
mobile devices are sub-band
In the long-term this plan may
have lower economies of scale
Not aligned with French Saint
Although the prospect for adoption is quite
encouraging the actual eco-system is still in the
early days
Initially a more limited availability of mobile
devices until more major Asian and Latin
American countries have launched the service
Roaming with the US depends on terminal
capabilities to use US spectrum bands
Not aligned with Anguilla

The benefits of the FCC 700 MHz band plan are certainly not obvious, in spite of some short-term
roaming opportunities with AT&T and Verizon. Roaming is not really requiring use of the same band but
requires support of the necessary bands in the mobile device/smartphone. The disadvantages of the
fragmented spectrum, less efficient networks and in the mid-term potentially a less developed (in
particular in lower cost smartphone segment) ecosystem of devices/smartphones. Most of the Latin
America region has adopted the APT 700 MHz band plan instead of the FCC 700 MHz for very good
reasons and also the GSMA advice tends towards the APT 700 MHz band plan for countries which are
not in a rush. Sint Maarten could initially launch LTE in other bands, such as the 1800 MHz, and gain a bit
of time before taking a final decision on the FCC 700 MHz APT 700 MHz band plan issue to see if the
APT 700 MHz band plan indeed continues to gain traction globally.


5.2 Above 1 GHz

The spectrum above 1 GHz is mainly used to provide a lot of capacity cost-efficiently. Lower frequency
bands are typically too small to provide enough capacity. Reportedly PCS 1900 (band 2) use has already
been phased out on Sint Maarten and PCS 1900 does not play a significant role anymore in International
roaming since US GSM terminals are typically at least tri-band and else quad-band GSM and multi-band
3G/HSPA. With PCS 1900 use eliminated on Sint Maarten the following benefits are available:
The full 2x75 MHz of the 1800 MHz band becomes available and therefore allows 2x20 MHz LTE
deployments per operator.
The full 2x60 MHz of the 2100 MHz band becomes available allowing operators to grow to 4
channel 3G/HSPA+ or more in this band and potentially also in a later stage offering in-band
migration to LTE.

The resulting spectrum allocation in these bands would become as follows:

Further there is the 2300 MHz band, currently used for WiMAX. In-band migration to LTE-TDD would be a
logical scenario. Similarly in the 2600 MHz band introduction of LTE-FDD (2x70 MHz) and LTE-TDD
(2x50 MHz minus guard bands) in the gap between the FDD slots would be possible.

The 3500 GHz band could potentially also be used for LTE in the mid- to long-term.

Band 3 1800 MHz DL
1800 MHz
1805 1880
Band 1 UL
Band 2 DL Band 2 UL
1920 1980
Band 33
2100 MHz

5.3 Recommended approach

Take key decisions:
Preference for use of the extended 900 MHz band. This adds 2x10 MHz in the 900 MHz and
allows cost-efficient 2G/3G/4G networks for the local mobile operators.

Aligned use of the 850 MHz band (band 5, 26, 27) in all 3 territories does not seem to be a very
realistic option. Therefore it is recommended to align with France and instead use the 800 MHz
(band 20) for LTE. A small block of remaining 850 MHz spectrum (2x7 MHz and 3 MHz guard
band) can still be used on Sint Maarten with appropriate filtering/antenna spacing effort.
The full use of the 800 MHz band provides 2x30 MHz of attractive LTE spectrum even though it
does block the upper part of the 700 MHz band.

Seriously consider APT 700 instead of FCC 700 MHz. In the mid-term APT 700 MHz band
plan is very likely to offer a better proposition to local Sint Maarten citizens (faster service, lower
cost of service and a better ecosystem including more low cost smartphones). The short-term
roaming benefit are not as significant and most of the revenues can be captured in the short-term
with 3G/HSPA+ in 2100/900/850 MHz and LTE 1800 and in the mid- to long- term the device/
smartphone ecosystem is likely to resolve the major LTE spectrum fragmentation.

France indicates the expected adoption of APT 700. Alignment would allow the use of most of the
band. Non-alignment with France (opting for FCC 700) would result in major incompatibilities and
in such a case band 12/17 might still be usable but band 13/14/Public Safety would face uplink
interference caused by APT 700 BTS downlink. Realistically any coordination between France
and Dutch Sint Maarten in such a situation would likely result in only band 12/17 (2x15 MHz) and
half of band 13 (2x5/6 MHz) for Dutch Sint Maarten and 2x20 MHz for French Saint Martin
instead of anywhere from 2x30 to 2x45 MHz depending on the 800 MHz band use.

If required relocation of spectrum from the 800 MHz to the APT 700 MHz band plan would be
possible. Making each 2x30 MHz would be reasonable. But it is possible to increase APT 700 up
to 2x45 MHz while at the same time reducing 800 MHz to 2x15 MHz. For example 2x40 MHz
APT 700 and 2 x 20 MHz 800 MHz would give three operators access to 2x20MHz LTE below 1

The two main options below 1 GHz would become:

Above 1 GHz the full 1800 MHz (2x75 MHz), 2100 MHz (2x60MHz) and the 2600 MHz (2x70 MHz) would
be available for FDD as well as the 2300 MHz and up to 50 MHz of 2600 MHz spectrum for TDD. This
should provide ample spectrum to cater for near future mobile data traffic growth.

Next steps would be:
Negotiate the sharing and coordination with France and Anguilla at the band plan level. Try to
convince each other to avoid the use of incompatible band plans as much as possible.
Make specific arrangements within each band plan to coordinate use within each band plan on
both sides of Sint Maarten and where applicable also with Anguilla. For new 3G/HSPA+ bands
and LTE based on equal signal levels and preferential codes (3G/HSPA) or PCIs (LTE).

Option 5A, "Both Digital Dividend options, full European 800 MHz and 2x30 MHz of APT 700; maximum900 MHz; small roaming slot in 850 MHz"
Option 5B, "Both Digital Dividend options, full European 800 MHz and FCC 700 MHz Band 12, 17 and 13; maximum900 MHz; small roaming slot in 850 MHz"
698 788
Band 12 UL Band 12 DL
Band 17 UL Band 17 DL
Band 13 DL Band 13 UL 862 869 877 880 915 925
900 MHz 900 MHz
791 821 824 832
800 MHz 850 MHz 800 MHz 850 MHz
832 862 880 915 925 960 869 877 703 733 758 788 791 821 824
APT 700 APT 700 800 MHz 800 MHz 900 MHz 900 MHz 850 MHz 850 MHz

Below 1 GHz
In the 900 MHz band there will be capacity for the existing 15 MHz of GSM spectrum being used as well
as 4 x 2x5 MHz carriers 3G/HSPA+ or 2 x 2x10 MHz LTE. This facilitates large-scale 3G/HSPA+ (dual-
carrier) in the 900 MHz band to provide better 3G/HSPA+ coverage and additional capacity.

Note: If Anguilla would continue to use the 880-890 MHz part of the 850 MHz band this would imply a
spectrum incompatibility. Anguilla 2010 data shows allocation only up to 881 MHz. Basestations sectors
with line of sight to Anguilla could suffer uplink interference and might require special antenna
arrangements to suppress this interference. Anguilla would suffer similar uplink interference when
introducing services in band 26/27. Special measures will be required to mitigate these incompatibilities.

The frequency coordination can initially be based on mix of GSM and 3G/HSPA. For the GSM parts the
preferential non-preferential frequency approach can be sustained. For 3G/HSPA the preferential
codes non-preferential codes approach is recommended while if migration to LTE is due preferential
non-preferential PCIs solution can be applied.

In the 800 MHz band 2x30 MHz of prime LTE spectrum, aligned with the Saint Martin and Saint
Barthlemy spectrum use becomes available. The 800 MHz frequency coordination can be based on
LTE, preferential non-preferential PCIs and further optimisation can be arranged between the

A small 2x7 MHz block in the 850 MHz will be available to support some (US roaming focussed) mobile
network. Initially this could be used by the existing CDMA 850 MHz network but migration to 3G/HSPA+
or LTE would be possible.

The decision with respect to FCC 700 APT 700 MHz could be postponed to later point in time once the
development of the two ecosystems has matured further. In the short-term LTE 1800 and LTE 800
provides enough spectrum for 3 major mobile operators to offer a dual-band LTE network.

Sint Maarten
Saint Martin
Anguilla (as is and assuming North American approach)
850 MHz 900 MHz 900 MHz
869 915 960 887 890 935 814 824 842 852 859
850-Ext 850-Ext
850 MHz
Op 1
Op 1
Op 2
Op 2
Op 2
Op 2
Op F 3
Op 1
Op 1
Op 2
Op 2
850 MHz 850 MHz 900 MHz Op F 1 Op F 2 Op F 3 Op F 1
791 821 915 925 960 824 832 862 869
925 960 832 862 869 877 880 915 791 821 824
850 MHz 850 MHz Op 1 Op 2 Op 3
900 MHz
877 880
Op F 2
Op 1 Op 2 Op 3
Op 2
Op 2

Above 1 GHz
Both the 1800 MHz band (2x75 MHz) and the 2100 MHz band (2x60 MHz) will be utilised to the full extend. PCS 1900 is no longer an issue on
Sint Maarten although continued use of PCS 1900 on Anguilla is anticipated.

Note: Assuming Anguilla would continue to use (part of) the PCS 1900 band this would imply spectrum incompatibilities. This is already the case
today as well but increased use of bands could worsen the interference issues. Basestations sectors with line of sight to Anguilla could potentially
suffer uplink interference and might require special antenna arrangements to suppress this interference. Anguilla would suffer similar uplink
caused by 1800 MHz basestations on Sint Maarten/Saint Martin. Special measures will be required to mitigate these incompatibilities.

LTE 1800 would be the main initial LTE band capable to provide high capacity mobile broadband cost-efficiently and offers excellent roaming
opportunities given increasing global support for LTE 1800 as the main roaming band.

The frequency coordination can initially be shifting from preferential frequencies non-preferential frequencies towards:
For 3G/HSPA the preferential codes non-preferential codes approach
LTE preferential non-preferential PCIs approach

Further there are two more important mobile bands:
2300 MHz band, currently used for WiMAX but offering potential for LTE-TDD 2300
2600 MHz band, offering 2x70 MHz for LTE 2600 FDD and up to 50 MHz for LTE 2600 TDD
In these bands frequency coordination for LTE use can be based on the preferential non-preferential PCIs approach

Refarm Refarm
Sint Maarten
Saint Martin
? ? 1930 1990
1710 1910
Weblinks Digicel C&W C&W Digicel
Op 1
Op 1
Op 1
Op 2
Op 2
Op 2
Op 4
Op 4
Op 4
Op 3
Op 3
Op 3
Op 3
Op 3
Op 3
Op 4
Op 4
Op 4
Op 2
Op 2
Op 2
Op 1
Op 1
Op 1
Op 1
Op 2
Op 2
Op 2
2010 2025 2110 2170
Op 1
Op 1
Op 1 LTE
Op 2
Op 2
Op 2 LTE
1880 1900 1920 1980 1710 1785 1805
1800 MHz 1800 MHz DECT Band 33 2100 MHz Band 34 2100 MHz
1900 1920 1980 2010 2025 2110 1880 1710 1785 1805
DECT Band 33 Band 34
Op 2
Op 1
Op 1 LTE

Short-term the 1800 MHz band offers 2x75 MHz and allows 3 major mobile
operators to deploy up to 2x20 MHz high capacity LTE networks cost-efficiently

Short-term the 800 MHz band offers 2x30 MHz and allows 3 major mobile
operators to deploy 2x10 MHz LTE networks with good coverage characteristics

Short-term 3 full dual-band LTE networks could be deployed

Short-term additional 900 MHz spectrum could be released allowing 2 major
mobile operators to add a dual-carrier 3G/HSPA+ network layer at a below 1 GHz
band with good coverage to complete 2 dual-band dual-carrier 3G/HSPA+ network

Short-term additional 2100/1900 spectrum could be released to allow 2 major
mobile operators up to 3 carrier operation in 2100 MHz. Also spectrum for 1 or 2
new mobile operators could be released

Additional LTE spectrum for very high capacity would be available in the 2300
MHz and 2600 MHz band. Since there is enough spectrum below 1 GHz and in the
1800 MHz band this spectrum is anticipated to be reserved for future allocation

The decision with respect to the 700 MHz band plan (FCC 700 APT 700) will be
postponed to a later point in time and after assessing the actual LTE market
developments. This spectrum could be used to add capacity to networks or to
provide more than 3 operators with good LTE spectrum below 1 GHz.

Coordination with Saint Martin and Anguilla is essential to minimise interference

6 Submission
Sint Maarten Bureau Telecommunications and Post requests submissions to be provided as soon as
possible. The closing time for submissions is 5.00pm, Friday November 1
, 2013. Sint Maarten Bureau
Telecommunications and Post requests that submissions are provided electronically to in either Word or PDF format.
Sint Maarten Bureau Telecommunications and Post intends to publish the responses to the consultation
on the BTPSXM website. If a respondent considers certain information provided to be confidential then
this information should be clearly marked as such allowing Sint Maarten Bureau Telecommunications and
Post to handle the information accordingly.