Cellular South details network enhancements ahead of LTE launch

Cellular South said its plan to deploy an LTE network late this year is on schedule, and the company detailed a $90 million network expansion that it is using to lay the foundation for its LTE deployment.

The privately held wireless carrier, which operates primarily in the South, said that through the end of July it expanded network capacity by installing 110 spectrum carriers at 110 cell sites in 20 counties serving central and south Mississippi, the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Delta. Additionally, Cellular South said it installed enhanced backhaul connections at 300 cell sites to enable LTE speeds and to boost capacity and handle more mobile data traffic. The company added that it installed more than 14,000 miles of single mode fiber optics to boost capacity, data transmission and network redundancy through an agreement with Telepak Networks.

Cellular South in November 2010 picked Samsung as its primary LTE infrastructure vendor and plans to launch an LTE network in 700 MHz spectrum in the fourth quarter of 2011. Cellular South intends to use Voice over LTE technology and will continue its LTE deployment into 2012. The carrier, which has around 900,000 subscribers, has also inked a bilateral roaming deal with wholesale LTE provider LightSquared, which is trying to gain regulatory approval from the FCC to deploy its terrestrial network.

Additionally, the company explained its network expansion plans for the rest of the year. In a statement, Cellular South COO Kevin Hankins said the company will install 285 spectrum carriers at 258 cell sites serving 42 counties in other parts of its service area in Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama, and will add enhanced backhaul capacity at 308 additional cell sites to enable LTE. Interestingly, the enhancements also include the completion of an extensive, network-wide core and switching systems infrastructure capacity upgrade project with Alcatel-Lucent (NASDAQ:ALU).

For more:
- see this release

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