3G/4G mobile broadband industry news from the UMTS Forum
25 March 2011

UMTS Forum - www.umts-forum.org

Alcatel-Lucent to Help China Mobile Deploy World’s Largest TD-LTE End-to-End Trial Network
China Mobile has awarded a contract to build its TD-LTE trial network to Alcatel-Lucent. China Mobile’s large-scale TD-LTE trial will take place in six major Chinese cities: Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen and Beijing. Alcatel-Lucent’s solution successfully passed interoperability tests required by the Chinese government in both 2.3 GHz and 2.6 GHz frequency bands with two major terminal suppliers.

Sierra Wireless Introduces First LTE AirLink Intelligent Gateway, announces Upgrade Program to Ease LTE Transition  
Sierra Wireless has launched an LTE 4G LTE multi-purpose wireless gateway, the AirLink GX440, which will operate on Verizon Wireless’ LTE network. The device will enable a wide range of mobile, fixed and portable applications. To facilitate the smooth transition to LTE, Sierra Wireless has also announced a technology upgrade program that will allow customers to purchase an AirLink GX400 3G gateway now and upgrade to the AirLink GX440 when it becomes commercially available.

Ofcom Prepares for Mobile Broadband Spectrum Auction
UK regulator Ofcom plans to auction 250 MHz of additional mobile spectrum in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands in the first quarter of 2012. The spectrum on offer is equivalent to three-quarters of the mobile spectrum currently in use in the UK. Under measures being proposed by Ofcom, the auction will include a combination of safeguards and coverage conditions to promote competition and significantly widen the mobile broadband coverage to 95% of the UK population.

Cricket Enters into LTE Roaming Agreement with LightSquared
Leap Wireless, which operates under the Cricket brand, has announced an MVNO agreement with LightSquared's planned nationwide LTE network. The US operator will use the LTE roaming deal with LightSquared to supplement its own LTE coverage, which will be rolled out over the next few years.

Verizon Wireless Brings LTE to More Than 145 Markets by the End of 2011
Verizon Wireless has revealed plans to expand its LTE network to additional 59 markets by the end of 2011, bringing the total number of markets covered by its LTE network to 147. The US operator unveiled its LTE network using the 700 MHz spectrum in 39 markets in December 2010 and announced further deployment in 49 markets in January 2011.

Bringing Mobile Broadband Services to Rural United States
NetAmerica Alliance has selected Ericsson for its planned deployment of a shared nationwide LTE network based on Ericsson's LTE/EPC technology. Network sharing will allow service providers to join forces and offer mobile broadband services in rural US markets cost effectively, delivering the same mobile broadband services available in major metropolitan areas.

LTE Speed Rush in Zagreb
Vipnet has trialled LTE technology in Zagreb, using 800 MHz spectrum that has been freed up as part of the digital dividend. The Croatian operator, owned by mobilkom Austria, has confirmed plans to launch commercial LTE services in 2012. In the meantime, Vipnet has deployed Dual Carrier HSPA+ technology in four cities, Zagreb, Split, Osijek and Rijeka. In 2010, Vipnet invested US$68.51 million as part of its long-term strategy to provide quality coverage, services and products.

T-Mobile Makes America’s HSPA+ Network Even Faster by Lighting Up 42 Mbps Speed in Las Vegas, New York and Orlando
T-Mobile USA has launched HSPA+ Dual Carrier technology in Las Vegas, New York and Orlando, enabling peak download speeds of up to 42 Mbps, with Chicago, Long Island and Northern New Jersey to be covered next. The operator expects to provide increased HSPA+ speeds to 140 million Americans in 25 markets by the middle of 2011.

AT&T to Acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom
ATT has acquired its rival T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in the US$38-billion cash-and-stock transaction. The combination of network assets enables ATT to provide LTE coverage to additional 46.5 million Americans, including rural communities and small towns, covering 95% of the US population. The acquisition will increase AT&T’s infrastructure investment in the US by more than US$8 billion over seven years. As part of the deal, Deutsche Telekom will receive an 8% equity stake in AT&T.

O2 UK First to Switch on New Superfast 3G 900MHz Network
After gaining permission from regulator Ofcom in January, O2 UK has deployed 3G services in the 900 MHz band across London. The new platform, known as 3G900, will enable the Telefónica-owned operator to increase capacity by 50% on its existing 3G network and offer 30% faster downloads. O2 UK has already rolled out 3G900 services in Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester, with other cities set to follow in the coming months.

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