Alcatel-Lucent recently completed the what the company describes as the first data call using an LTE network operating on Band 14 spectrum — the 700 MHz frequencies earmarked for public-safety broadband use in the United States.

Morgan Wright, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent’s global public-safety segment, said the LTE data communications were conducted in a laboratory environment using the 10 MHz of broadband frequencies licensed to the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST) in the U.S., as well as in combination with the 10 MHz of adjacent frequencies known as the D Block in the U.S. These frequencies combined form Band 14.

“All of the data rates, according to the engineers, were in line with all the normal expectations for these bandwidths,” Wright said. “It validates that commercially available equipment using commercial standards will be ready for public safety.”

While other communications have been completed using LTE technology, the Alcatel-Lucent test represents the first time this has been done using Band 14 spectrum, Wright said. Under current law, the D Block is slated to be auctioned to commercial operators, but public-safety officials have rallied behind federal legislation that would reallocate the spectrum for first-responder use.