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LTE Network Launches on the Agenda at MWC 2012

by Philip Kendall | 2月 27, 2012


This year’s Mobile World Congress looks likely to be a useful platform for mobile operators to provide updates on their LTE network deployment plans. There have been a couple of announcements from the show floor so far, though some operators put details out last week to avoid the noise. We are expecting LTE launch plans to emerge throughout the week, but here is a recap of what has come over the last 10 days:

  • Deutsche Telekom confirmed an LTE launch by T-Mobile USA in 2013, following the failed AT&T-TMO merger attempt at the end of last year. It is modernizing 37,000 cell sites in 2012/13 as part of this process and through a combination of spectrum refarming and the spectrum dividend it received from AT&T, it will be able to launch with 20 MHz of LTE spectrum (AWS band) in markets covering half of its current HSPA POPs.
  • eAccess will launch an integrated UMTS/LTE 1.7 GHz network in Japan next month, supplied by Ericsson and Huawei.
  • Everything Everywhere hopes to launch LTE services in the UK by the end of 2012, providing it can get regulatory approval to use its 1800 MHz spectrum. The UK is late to auction 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum, with UK Broadband also looking to step into the void as it trials TD-LTE at 3.5 GHz.
  • Telefonica unveiled its “live test” LTE network (pdf) covering 5 square km of central Barcelona as part of its domestic LTE build. Using Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio technology, the companies are positioning this as the world’s 'smartest' 4G network. The network consists of conventional base stations and smaller metro cells, all operating in the same 2.6 GHz frequency band with no interference. It supports speeds up to 100 Mbps downlink and 40-60 Mbps uplink with the partners suggesting each cell can support 30 simultaneous users at 30 Mbps.
  • Movicel will launch an LTE network in Angola by the end of May 2012. The network, supplied by Huawei, is the first 1800 MHz FDD LTE network in Africa.

Watch this space for an update later in the week on further launch announcements.


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