LTE: Vodafone links with Huawei for LTE tests

Despite already conducting LTE trials in co-operation with Verizon Wireless and China Mobile, Vodafone Germany has announced it will conduct independent trials of the technology using equipment from Huawei starting this summer.

The two firms have signed an MOU to better understand the performance of LTE in the Digital Dividend Band--790-862MHz--and its ability to provide wireless broadband coverage to rural and urban areas. The test will also look to prove LTE's compatibility with adjacent technologies such as digital TV and digital radio.

Huawei VP, Vincent Pang, said the test would take place using the company's ‘end-to-end' LTE solution and claimed the MOU represented "another milestone for the collaboration between the two companies." He added that Huawei would use LTE technologies to ensure Vodafone Germany "remained ahead of the market as well as help it to achieve sustainable growth in the future."

Vodafone is already involved with trialling LTE in rural Germany following a partnership agreement with German public broadcaster WDR and the federal government of North Rhine-Westphalia. German rival E-Plus also has a pilot, working with Ericsson, in the same band, running in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

These latest trials follow Vodafone's announcement that it would not deploy LTE until 2012 at the earliest, while Verizon and China Mobile look determined to launch LTE-based services (albeit geographically restricted) next year. Vodafone was the first operator to sign up for LTE roaming and interoperability initiatives, under the auspices of the MultiService Forum's LTE and System Architecture Evolution (SAE) interoperability tests, which are planned to start in Q1 next year.

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