Get ready for the Long Term Evolution (LTE) onslaught next week during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, although, according to my inbox, it has already happened. Motorola, Nokia Siemens Networks and Ericsson have already made LTE announcements. Motorola introduced its LTE base stations, Nokia announced a new version of its Flexi Multiradio base station that expands the technologies supported by the NSN line to cover GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA and LTE in a single unit. Ericsson introduced an evolved packet core portfolio for LTE networks so that HSPA operators can gracefully migrate to LTE.
The trade association 3G Americas and the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance announced a cooperation agreement between the two associations in support of the development and commercialization of next generation mobile broadband technologies and services. The working agreement between the two bodies will enable development and deployment of commercial mobile broadband based on this standard.
Perhaps what will turn into the biggest buzz at the show is Verizon Wireless' plan to unveil its LTE vendor choices during Executive Vice President and CTO Richard Lynch's keynote address. The announcement will be a surprise to everyone, including the very vendors Verizon is choosing.
The tone of the show is a far cry from last year, when then Vodafone Group CEO Arun Sarin urged the vendor community to step up efforts on the LTE standard since WiMAX was ahead in its development. WiMAX may still be ahead this year, but LTE certainly has the momentum behind it. We'll certainly see some WiMAX news (I have some embargoed announcements in my inbox), but it's interesting to see how some companies that once pushed heavily into to the WiMAX space have now jumped into the LTE market. Wireless 20/20, for instance, used to be WiMAX 20/20, but now its on the LTE bandwagon. Other companies have made some good progress in WiMAX, announcing new innovative products; still others appear to be threatened by the onslaught of LTE, trying to dub LTE as just another Long Term Excuse.
Stay tuned to our continuing coverage of the show next week. -Lynnette