O2 Germany to use NSN for LTE pilot

O2 Germany has selected Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to deploy a pilot LTE network in the eastern city of Halle, an area that currently has poor access to broadband service.

The 2.6GHz network, which will go live by the end of 2010 (although not for commercial use), will be based upon NSN's Multiradio base stations and the Enhanced Packet Core nodes Flexi NG and Flexi NS. NSN will also manage and operate the network. The Halle suburb of Teutschenthal will have LTE coverage operating in the 800MHz band.

Last month, O2 Germany announced that it would use LTE equipment supplied by Huawei for the deployment of a network covering Munich and the nearby rural area of Ebersberg.

Separately, NSN's head of business transformation for Western Europe, Mark Neild, has claimed that LTE in itself will not be an effective competitive differentiator.

"What LTE does is it makes mobile broadband more affordable because it reduces the cost per delivered megabyte. I don't think that having the fastest network around is actually going to attract a lot of customers; I'm not convinced that people buy on speed," said Neild.

While accepting that there might be a marketing advantage to those operators that were the first to deploy LTE, the NSN exec said that deployments would "even out relatively quickly" negating any benefits enjoyed by the earliest adopters.

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