27 Jun 2024

LTE 450

Frequency bands for mission-critical IoT applications 

LTE 450 is used for the safety of critical networks

The 380-512 MHz frequency bands, traditionally used for narrow band analog systems and CDMA 450, are experiencing a renaissance in the 4G LTE technology era. This renewed interest is driven by the distinct advantages of these lower frequency bands compared to the traditional higher bands used in 4G LTE.

What is LTE 450?

LTE 450 refers to the deployment of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology in the 380-512 MHz frequency band.

LTE 450 networks allow various 4G LTE options to deliver efficient and reliable telecommunications services: LTE, LTE-M, and NB-IoT. The market and industry are currently focusing on LTE-M and LTE Cat 1LTE Cat 1bis modules will likely secure a significant portion of the LTE 450 market based on LTE Cat 1.

The bands that can be used 

 The 3GPP has currently assigned to LTE 450 the following bands:

  • Band 31 (450 MHz)
  • Band 72 (450 MHz)
  • Band 73 (450 MHz), not in use
  • Band 87 (410 MHz)
  • Band 88 (410 MHz)

Interested in learning more about LTE 450?

The benefits

The 450 MHz spectrum range offers several advantages, making it particularly appealing for specific applications and regions:

  • Coverage: One of the most significant advantages of LTE 450 is its ability to cover large areas with relatively few base stations. Lower frequencies propagate better over long distances and can penetrate obstacles (like buildings and trees) more effectively than higher frequencies. The coverage area of an LTE 450 base station is almost three times better than that offered by LTE at 850 MHz. 
  • Cost efficiency: The deployment of a 450 MHz band network is more cost-effective than using higher frequency bands. The reduced number of required base stations translates into a less dense network with lower capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX).
  • Resilience and reliability: With fewer base stations, creating a network for critical communications is easier, which can ensure power backup for continued operation during disasters or critical events. Public safety, utilities, and transportation (logistics, railways, road services, and more) are primary sectors that require secure, robust, and continuous nationwide connectivity.

The deployment of LTE 450

450 MHz networks have been deployed in various regions worldwide, demonstrating adaptability and broad utility.

Most 450 MHz spectrum allocations today are not technology-agnostic; the majority of the frequency allocations in the 450 MHz band are designed or regulated to support specific technologies rather than being flexible or compatible with multiple technologies. Some still focus on CDMA 450 and require local regulatory changes to open up to LTE 450, a shift that is slowly happening.

The trend indicates that the 450 MHz spectrum bands are increasingly being allocated to private networks, such as utilities, public safety, and transportation. Using private networks enables control of congestion, access, and optimization of the system management.

What does u-blox offer for LTE 450? 

As the demand for LTE 450 in the IoT ecosystem continues to grow, especially in Europe, u-blox has expanded the SARA-R5 family by adding the SARA-R540S variant. SARA-R540S is an LTE-M/NB-IoT module that extends the regular set of global LTE-M bands, with support for the 410-450 MHz bands, including B31, B72, B73, B87 and B88.


LTE 450 stands out as a powerful tool for critical safety, capable of bridging the connectivity gap, especially in rural and remote areas. The unique advantages of these bands make them a compelling choice for various applications, ranging from enhancing rural broadband access to supporting critical infrastructure and IoT networks.

Besides the favorable propagation provided by the 450 MHz spectrum, the 3GPP permits the use of power class 2 (26 dBm) alongside power class 3 (23 dBm) to further increase the coverage area of the LTE 450 networks.

Environmental changes and geopolitical factors have increased awareness of the need to preserve strategic communication capabilities. LTE 450 is poised to become critical in the telecommunications landscape.

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