U.S. Slow to Catch On to LTE Technologies

Broadband Updates, Broadband's Impact, International September 21st, 2010

, Deputy Editor, BroadbandBreakfast.com

WASHINGTON, September 21, 2010 – The past few months have been filled with announcements from around the globe announcing the launch of long term evolution networks. The United States, however, is lagging in this realm.

The two major U.S. cellular providers, Verizon and AT&T, will soon launch LTE networks while Sprint has chosen to back WiMax and T-Mobile is deploying a HSPA+ network. Regional provider. Metro PCS has already deployed its LTE network but it is limited to Las Vegas. The company is looking to expand to New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Boston.

Vodafone Germany announced that by December it will offer service in 1,000 municipalities and another 1,500 by March 2011. TeliaSonera launched a network in Norway in September 2009 and a second network in Sweden in December 2009.

Verizon has been running trials for the past year and purchased the rights nationwide for the 700 megahertz band of spectrum. The firm has announced it will launch its LTE network by the end of the year in 30 “National Football League Cities.” While the NFL has 32 teams, the Giants and Jets both play in New York while the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers play in essentially the same city.

The firm does plan to double that number within the first 15 months of the official launch date. It previously announced that it plans to provide access in areas where it does not currently offer 3G service. It also has talked about working with local partners to provide service where no current Verizon network exists.

AT&T plans to wait until mid-2011 to launch its network. It plans to cover between 70 million to 75 million people, according to AT&T Operations CEO John Stankey at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2010 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference. He said the firm wants to wait till the LTE market matures.

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