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The explosive growth in data traffic is resulting in a spectrum crunch forcing many wireless network operators to look towards refarming their 2G spectrum and deploy more spectrally efficient Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. However, mobile network operators face a challenge when it comes to spectrum refarming because 2G technologies such as Global System for Mobile (GSM) is still widely used for low bandwidth Machine-To-Machine (M2M) devices. In this paper, the authors propose a novel solution to provide GSM connectivity within an LTE carrier through an efficient overlay by reserving a few physical resource blocks for GSM. With this approach, operators can refarm their 2G spectrum to LTE efficiently while still providing some GSM connectivity to their low data rate M2M customers.
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