Alltel chooses LTE for 4G

In a move that is not surprising, Alltel announced it was committed to evolving its network to LTE during the next five years. The decision isn't surprising given the fact that Alltel typically follows in Verizon's footsteps when it comes to technology decisions. Earlier this year Verizon committed to the LTE standard to align itself with partner Vodafone.

"We do currently plan to move towards LTE in the three-to-five year timeframe vs. WiMAX, but we're still early in that," Alltel President and CEO Scott Ford said during the operator's first-quarter conference call.

Alltel's COO Jeff Fox, however, noted that the carrier won't be talking seriously about LTE this year. "We are working through our planning phase and will be talking to our board about all that over the next two quarters," Fox said. "Certainly there's no money for 4G evolution anytime in our near-term plans, and so I think from a cash-flow perspective you should not expect to see us talking about 4G anytime at least in 2008." Plus, does Alltel have enough spectrum to deploy LTE? The operator didn't win anything at the 700 MHz auction.

For more on Alltel's LTE choice:
- read this RCR article