AT&T announced Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent will supply the operator's LTE network infrastructure for deployment in 2011. Financial details of the contracts were not disclosed.
Ericsson and AlcaLu are quickly shoring up the U.S. LTE market, despite heavy competition from Chinese vendor Huawei, which is winning key LTE contracts in Europe. Verizon Wireless chose the two vendors a year ago and will roll out LTE this year to 100 million people in 25 to 30 markets.
Unlike many European operators that are cutting ties with their legacy vendors as they move to LTE, AT&T said it chose to extend its existing relationships with AlcaLu and Ericsson. AT&T said it will take advantage of compatibility between AlcaLu and Ericsson's 3G equipment as it moves to LTE. AT&T said the 3G equipment it is getting this year from its suppliers will be LTE-ready, allowing AT&T to upgrade existing equipment and software instead of installing new equipment as it deploys LTE.
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