Canada's Rogers signs sole-source LTE network deal with Ericsson, plans to deploy services in 2011

Canadian operator Rogers Communications announced it will launch its LTE network in 2011, and announced Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC)will be the sole-source supplier for the network.

Rogers said it will launch commercial LTE network services in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa in 2011 with the top 25 markets across Canada coming online in 2012. Rogers is promising data speeds between three and four times faster than HSPA+ with peak download rates of up to 150 Megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 70 Mbps.

Rogers said it will initially launch LTE using Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum and will over time deploy LTE in multiple bands. After competitor Telus launches dual-carrier HSPA+ this year, it will deploy LTE to urban areas in Canada using the AWS band as well. Industry Canada has yet to auction frequencies in the 700 MHz band.

Rogers announced a comprehensive technical trial of LTE in Ottawa and Montreal last year with Ericsson. The new multi-year agreement with Ericsson calls for the vendor to deliver an end-to end LTE network, deploying all LTE radio sites with the vendor's new multi-standard radio base station, RBS 6000, and deploying its Evolved Packet Core network.

The world's largest network equipment vendor reported net income of $671 million in the quarter, more than triple the $212 million it posted in the year-ago period. Ericsson reported sales of $8.67 billion, up 17 percent from $7.38 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Ericsson said network sales jumped 53 percent in the quarter, and that it saw year-over-year growth in five of its ten regions. The vendor said sales in North America, Ericsson's largest market in terms of revenue, rose 39 percent in the quarter to $2.16 billion. The company said North American carriers continue to spend money on hardware and software to expand network capacity, in response to users' increasing data traffic.

For more:
- read this Rogers release
- see this release

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