Operators are indicating their increasing level of interest in LTE by contracting to trial the technology with infrastructure vendors, claims Alca-Lu. The company has confirmed it will launch 14 new LTE operator trials over the next six months, bringing the total number planned for next year to 22.
This news follows on from the company's CEO, Ben Verwaayen, stating that LTE was the "flagship of change at Alcatel-Lucent", and hinted that the vendor was increasingly well placed to win more contracts.
Speaking to Unstrung, Alca-Lu's new president of 4G/LTE wireless networks, Ken Wirth, said that this trials activity was enabling the company to encroach into other suppliers' territory. "Those trial customers... are not just necessarily customers that have our Alca-Lu 2G or 3G infrastructure in their network," said Wirth. "They involve a number of our competitors' embedded bases as well."
While some industry observers were surprised at Alca-Lu's inclusion in the Verizon Wireless LTE contract announced earlier this year, it has placed the company alongside its major competitors as the market develops. "[We're] really seeing customers move much more quickly than I think people thought maybe a year or so ago to really evaluate LTE and evaluate what it can bring to their business," added Wirth.
Ericsson is thought to have the largest number of LTE trial contracts, Huawei has admitted it will have more than 25 by the end of this year, and Nokia Siemens Networks claims four LTE reference contracts.
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Motorola demos LTE in Ericsson's backyard