LTE: 39 commitments to deploy networks, 50% increase in 6 months

Mobile operators are gaining enough confidence in LTE to confirm their commitment to deploy the technology, a 50 per cent increase since March 2009, claims the GSA, who undertook the research.

The trade body said that 39 operators in 19 countries have indicated their intent to adopt LTE, with 14 of these planning to be operational by the end of next year with another 31 anticipated to be in service by the end of 2012.

This upsurge in operator commitment has, according to the GSA, been helped by CDMA operators becoming reassured by collaboration between 3GPP, 3GPP2 and IEEE that there is a workable roadmap for CDMA operators to evolve to LTE. This has been helped more recently by the demonstration by Nortel and LG Electronics of the handover of a data transmission between a LTE network and a CDMA network. The two firms claimed this would reassure CDMA operators that services such as video downloads and VoIP calls would be maintained when moving from one technology to another.

While the GSA is keen to promote the likely success of LTE, as it has done for all past evolutionary steps of GSM technology, this latest development does increasingly look to have adequate momentum to make it a worldwide cellular standard. Such a move could radically alter the existing landscape for infrastructure and handset suppliers--which might be a source of fresh speculation for Huawei's interest in merging with Alcatel-Lucent.

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