Thursday, December 11, 2008

US to get LTE in 2009

USA's Verizon Wireless is taking a stand - in the race to deploy 4G LTE mobile broadband service, they don't want to come in second to AT&T or Japan's NTT DoCoMo, the latter of which said it would offer such a network commercially in 2010. According to executive vice president and chief technology officer of Verizon Communications, Dick Lynch, they plan to begin rolling the enhanced network capabilities out by about this time next year, ahead of the original 2010 timetable.

The original plan called for initial rollouts in 2010, with a wide commercial launch in 2011 and true mass availability coming shortly after. But according to an IDC analyst, Verizon’s new, more aggressive deployment schedule was likely inspired by the threat of launching after another company. Verizon wants to be first!

After introducing LTE, Verizon plans to offer subscribers small in-home base stations known as femtocells, which will extend the signal indoors - likely including built-in Wi-Fi, which will allow newer personal electronics such as cameras to automatically exchange information over the air.

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Boost to mobile broadband backhaul network

BT Group has selected network equipment maker Tellabs Inc as its partner to support its ethernet-based mobile backhaul service.

As part of the five-year deal, Tellabs will support BT as its customers migrate from traditional leased lines to the higher-capacity, 21 century ethernet-based base station connectivity which will enable customers to manage data traffic growth, BT said.

The announcement is likely to be seen as a boost for Tellabs after the firm warned in October its fourth-quarter revenue would fall far short of Wall Street estimates, although no financial details regarding the deal were revealed.

The agreement comes as mobile operators push mobile broadband services as a new stream of revenues which results in growing backhaul requirements. Four of the five UK mobile operators use BT's 21 century service for their backhaul requirements.

Backhaul network capacity is key to the anticipated growth of mobile broadband - it is one of the primary reasons for the current data limits imposed by the providers.

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